This was last week’s post:
“Today, all I have is this blank screen. My head is crowded, there are so many things to tell you, I don’t know where to start…”
I thought just moving my fingers in naked honesty would stir something meaningful and words would flow like waterfalls. But as you know, this space stayed silent last week. It happens. Sometimes, things happen and you don’t have any context for them, no way to make sense of them – not everything lends itself to communication. There’s kataphatic theology/prayer, and that is when you use words, symbols to communicate with God – these posts are my kataphatic worship. Sure, I’m writing to you and my sister and my mom and my awesome buddy Troy and lots and lots of others I should name but won’t, but mostly I’m writing to (and for) God, pouring my heart into this keyboard directly to Him, for Him.
Apophatic theology/prayer is when the usual forms of expression simply won’t do. One definition says this prayer “has no content.” It’s when the screen stays empty, your mind is empty, when you just rest without words. As you can imagine, this apophatic practice is not my default setting, but last week, it was all I had to give. And, just like anything else, the best we can do is to offer all we have, whatever it is, however inadequate it feels. (I am learning that those inadequacies are often the most valuable, even if we can’t see it this minute.)
Now, this week’s kataphatia (probably not a word, but one of the main perks with not knowing a language is being able to take what you learn and make it fit, with virtually no regard to the accepted rules, like punk rock linguistics;)
My high school class reunion was on Saturday, and I didn’t go. I didn’t have a particularly wonderful time of school, and by ‘not a particularly wonderful time,’ I mean I hated every day. So, when the rumblings of a reunion began, I couldn’t have cared less. Most of the graduating class had lost touch, the minute we were handed our diplomas was also the minute the relationships we swore would never end, did. I never considered attending, not even for a second.
Why not? Sure, I didn’t really miss them. I don’t live there anymore. I live here, with this family, an Angel and 2 beautiful boys, a Bridge, and more beautiful friends than I could have dreamed. Why in the world would I want to go back to a place I ran from 25 years ago?
Except for one thing, I am a different person than I was in high school. God rescued me from that guy, then, and called me into a new life, overflowing with His blessings. That reunion would have been a celebration, not of me, but of Him. I would have heard 2 separate variations of the same question, over and over, “How/Why did you get to a church?” Either way, the answer is the same, Because Jesus saved my life.
But I didn’t want go. This terrific opportunity to witness to my own transformation never even crossed my mind, I was too comfortable here, self-absorbed and stagnant.
Check this Bible story out, I’ll wait here: (Luke 8:26-37)
Interesting, right? These Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave. Our first reaction is to feign righteous outrage. Gasp, How could they ask the Son of God, Savior of the world, to leave? How could they be so lost that, face to face with Jesus, they would ask Him to leave? How could I miss yet another sacred moment?
Because, to be brutally honest, we usually choose the pigs. These pigs represent the current economy, the status quo, comfortability. It’s why we don’t apply for the new position, ask the prettiest girl on a date, take up a new hobby. It’s why we don’t go to funerals. It’s why we don’t dance.
The pigs might be, well, pigs, but they’re the pigs we know.
I didn’t go to my reunion because I was busy tending to my herd of pigs. (It’s actually not ‘herd,’ the proper term for young pigs is a drift, drove or litter. Groups of older pigs are called a sounder of swine, a team or passel of hogs or a singular of boars. Ha!) I wanted to stay home, cozy and dry, instead of stepping onto the dance floor.
The big problem is, Jesus made me to dance. All the time. Even at a high school reunion.