Sunday, 15 March 2015
Pause in Lent
I didn't blog my Pause last week. I couldn't actually blog my Pause last week, and I don't have Angela's good excuse of an injured wrist. I have really no excuse at all. Except the slightly messy story that I am going to try to tease out of my messy head just now!
I have been able to keep up all Delia's readings so far. The passages in the book have come on amazingly apt days, covering car disasters and a wobbly time of illness.And then it happened. I got to the weeks on repentance and on listening to God's word. One of the last passages was from Hebrews 4: For the word of God... penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
A while ago I bought a new paring knife. It was very, very sharp. I was chopping onions for my brother's birthday lunch later in the day and was thinking how very, very sharp the knife was, and how fabulous it was to be chopping onions with my new, very, very sharp knife, when yes, you knew, I realised that the top of my thumb was also beautifully sliced. But what I couldn't understand was how little pain I felt. Admittedly when the nurse had lifted it all up to check for onion residue, that was not pleasant. Afterwards though I was able to get to Sunday School on time, finish making the birthday lunch, and even spend the evening at the Summer Madness festival. I'm still slightly afraid of the knife.
This feeling, however, of having my soul and spirit sliced by words sharper than a double edged sword, than a Marks and Spencer paring knife. This feeling hurts. This rooting around in the grumpy sin of my life is not comfortable, not happy, not easy, not meek and mild; this is Jesus in the desert requiring obedience.
The annoying thing is that the part of my life that needs sorted isn't even spectacularly significant to anybody else. I keep wondering how much more God would have to say to me about spectacularly significant things if He didn't have to waste time on my grumpy messiness. But He has been pointing out to me for two whole weeks now that my attitude is wrong. Thankfully He hasn't gone away! The problem is that I keep skim reading through the difficult bits, virtually holding the book at arm's length to maintain safe distance. Although that last bit might be somewhat explained by middle-aged eyes...
There were two whole days on the Prodigal Son. Help me. A whole day on the grumpy brother. I'm about to get out my notebook and lay it all out on a page. I don't want to harden my heart, but my heart is hard.
I hope you're all much braver than me! These last readings started with Isaiah 30: Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Delia's translation has the last line as: Happy are all who hope in him.
I'm off to do some hoping!