Friday, June 22, 2012

Glimpsing God

Dear John,

I am slowly suturing myself back together. My pain ebbs and flows. It seems that there is an inner mechanism that allows me to feel only as much pain as I can bear at any given time. As I allow that mechanism to work, I will gradually work through the stored-up well of anguish. I'm telling myself no shoulds; what I feel is just that. I'm allowing my emotions to be whatever they are.

I've talked to a few friends who are concerned that I know it is alright to hurt. There is still that strain of Christian theology that says we will have no pain if we have sufficient faith. That, of course, is rot. How can sinful creatures in a fallen world hope to live without pain? That belief seems to me to be a way of keeping fear of pain at bay. And as I've thought about it, I've pondered that personal theology can be used as a drug, a way to alleviate our fears and discomforts. 

And so I'm very grateful tonight to be Orthodox. Orthodox Christianity never shrinks from pain. Whatever God sends is what we need. So I can be at peace in my pain, with no need to deny or repress it. And I think of Job - rest did not come to him by having God answer his questions, but by glimpsing enough of God that his questions became irrelevant.

May we both sleep peacefully tonight, glimpsing God! Love you,

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