I’ve been sat here for a while wondering what on earth to write this morning. This bit is supposed to just be a simple, short piece about something that’s struck me about faith or belief this week. And I’m struggling, because there hasn’t been. Well, nothing on the face of it. Nothing that’s ‘worth writing about.’ There’s been no big old finger point from God on a subject. If I’m honest, things have been a little flat this week.
Of course, that’s not to say that things haven’t happened. I could point you in the direction of the piece I wrote earlier this week about Christians and gay people, in response to a house-group session that I led; but that would be too weighty. I could mention the post-Service of Thanksgiving pint in the pub. Where, in possibly a move seen as distasteful to some, we sat around discussing with our friend, what creativity could be had with his coffin – him being a member of Britain’s elite Magic Circle. He came to conclusion that he liked the idea of a coffin with a saw wedged half way through the middle of it. You can weigh up for yourself the ethics of a bunch of Christians wandering five doors down from a church into the pub; but in my world it’s part and parcel of our life. Sometimes you need to adjourn to the pub to cogitate on what’s been going on the church. When I was growing up I could never understand why our family’s church effectively had a pub, or a ‘church club’ around the back of it. Now I totally see the use for it!
Elsewhere, I’m currently reading through the book of Job and, to be honest, it really isn’t material to write light, witty pieces about; although it does lend itself well to discussions about why people suffer. Is that big old God really picking on you? Are you being punished for crimes that you’ve no idea you’ve committed? Or is suffering as senseless and as random as a lightning strike? As I was saying, they’re hardly topics for a light piece on a cheery Sunday morning.
And it’s not even a cheery Sunday morning, either. It’s pitch dark and it’s lashing it down, after a week where the ground has been covered in 4″ of snow. Now that’s an odd thing. I’m a child of the metric system, it was the only thing I was taught in school; but I would never ask a hairdresser to cut two and a half centimetres off my hair and I never measure my snow depth in anything less than inches. Saying “we got 10cms” just doesn’t sound right.
But that’s one of the things about life, isn’t it? Inconsistency. Sometimes you have weeks where you’re constantly tripping over revelations and then some weeks it’s all a big old ‘meh‘ and nothing’s going on. Well, nothing that you can see anyway. In the film of your life, this would be one of the bits that ends up on the cutting room floor. Because, let’s face it we all have times where we fail to set the world alight with our brilliance.
Shifting my gaze a little and focusing on other things from another angle; I could tell you about the wonderful sense of family that there was as we stood in that Service of Thanksgiving for Susan’s life. Susan died very suddenly over Christmas and her death is one of those times when reading the book of Job seems wholly appropriate, because you can’t make head or tail of the shock that such a death is. I could also tell you about some of the very interesting conversations I’ve had as a result of writing the piece about Christians and gay people. I could even mention the very nice thing that happened at the end of the week which bodes exciting things for the future; but can’t really be talked about much yet, because that’s like tempting fate 😀
We all self-edit to some extent. We all give people the view of ourselves we want to present, or select those bits we want to include on the Facebook timeline of our lives; leaving the boring or unflattering bits out (lest anyone find out what we’re really like). Because if they see those bits then they won’t like us, right?
But you are no surprise to God. He knows exactly what you’re like; good bits, bad bits and all the meh bits. One of the phrases I adore most from Joyce Meyer is her saying ‘God knows what dumb thing’s going to come out of your mouth next.’ It makes me laugh, but it’s true. I am no surprise to God, even if in my prayers I mention some thing and leave out all the uncomfortable, or frankly plain embarrassing bits. He knows it all and he’s patiently sat there just waiting for the time when I stop self-editing and give him all of it. Even the bits I don’t think are worth writing about because they’re too inconsequential to note.
Nothing is inconsequential to God and neither are you.