two-handed entry

July 6, 2006

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Waiting for Eli to fall asleep so I can take a nap.

Yesterday was a good day.  Laurie helped me with the kids while we went to CostCo, another friend from the community group came over early to help out, and then during c/g itself Edlyn, one of the best babysitters we've ever had, came back after a long hiatus.  She brought her daughter, and Georgia really likes it when she does that.  When she heard Edlyn was coming, Gigi said, “Edlyn is nice.  Edlyn gives hugs and kisses.”   Anyway, and then it was the first time seeing the group again in a month – I've been afraid to convene the group because I've been so bitter – “cranky Christian,” is the phrase I'm using – but it was good to be together again.  We looked at the first chapter of James, which is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  Although it condemns doubt and calls it counter-productive, it at least mentions doubt.   James calls doubters “double-minded men,” which is a really vivid and evocative expression.  I very much feel double-minded, and have so felt a lot of my adult life. 

The friend from group who came over to help – she helped out a little, but we spent a good chunk of the time talking about what was going on in her life – so much of it not good.  This is someone I've known for a while, and I've never known her when she wasn't suffering.  Out of work, or torn apart by family strife, or physically unwell.  Whenever you're tempted to think that worshipping God puts you in some protective custody under angelic oversight, it's good to have some folks like that in your life – to remind you that circumstances can take any number of turns.  The issue with this friend is that, when it's the distress is so never-ending, you wonder if God is really sovereign over her life.  She herself says, “God has always made a way for me,” but I can't help but wonder if she really receives God's blessings with gratitude or whether instead she sabotages her own life, so that she is always waiting for God to open the next door.  This is one of those forbidden thoughts.  How do you talk about such a thing?

There's a great line from Changing Lanes, an interesting but middling movie, where Samuel L. Jackson is told by William Hurt (the Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor to Johnson's recovering alcoholic):  “Clearly, alcohol is not your drug of choice.  You are addicted to crisis!”

I haven't heard Eli in a while.  I'll go see what's up – and perhaps soon I'll be gratefully down.

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