for the love of restoration

August 21, 2011

And having gotten into bed, I find it suddenly difficult to marshal my thoughts. I had all this writing planned out, all these ideas and things I was going to sit down and explore as I took my shower and got my hot water bottle filled and did my laundry. And then I climbed into bed and put my computer on my knees and sank into the softness of this is a place to sleep and it is evening and you are tired. And now all my ideas are softer and sadder and quieter. Other than the spiky one that darts little eyelooks sideways at the deep bassy music coming from a next door neighbour’s house.

There were three main ideas. The first was to do with writing, and with the nature of honesty, and I hung my memory of this idea on the persons of Florrie and Ariel, two different online friends of mine who I had two separate conversations with on this topic, both leading slowly to the conclusion I have somewhat reached, at present.

That conclusion is that allowing ourselves to be who we are- being honest about it, not hiding our flaws or our exuberancies or our foolishnesses- shows best who God is in our daily lives as we interact with him. That in our imperfections and fragile idiocies and our cracked slow eyes and hearts that turn cold and lungs that wither, in living honestly and openly this broken struggle that is our living, the truth of God can be seen. The truth being that this God loves us, rejoices in us, sets to heal and mend us and make us into something more beautiful than we ever expected to be- that his purpose in everything, in our living is one of restoration, of making whole again and making right again and setting everything that is wrong to rights. Restoring. That is the truth we carry in our lives, and that is why I try to write and speak honestly about what I think and who I am and what I do, flawed and struggling and idiotic and entirely broken as I am. So that people can see the work that God is doing in this bit of the world, and so perhaps see the nature of God- and see God, and by seeing him, learn to trust him.

 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
2 Corinthians 4:7-11

 

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Another thought was to do with restoration, which tied into a thought I’ve got scribbled down in my current red notebook, to do with the purposes and intention of God. And also how much I love the word restoration. But mainly that the purpose of God is for restoration, which is a word so delicious and so delightful and shocking that it needs to be unpacked in a post of its own, and this purpose underlies everything that happens- every event, however tiny, however miniscule and meaningless. That this intention of God imbues every single thing that happens with significance, and with purpose. That all things truly do work for good, for restoration. Oh man, I’m going to need to exult about the word at some point soon. I love it so.

 

Third and final point is the one unravelling slowly across the back of an envelope- my payslip envelope, actually- which has to do with the idea of becoming human, and, sudden enlightenment- becoming more like Jesus. Which is something that needs to be explored, because Jesus is not a person I understand entirely, or feel necessarily any connection to, and I have the feeling that it is essential. That a relationship with this person is essential to the whole thing that is Christianity, the whole living-of-it. It’s a feeling that’s been riding me for a while, wondering how to get to know this Jesus person better.

 

I tell a lie, that was not my third and final point. This is: the fact that God works in us even when we are- unable to see it, unable to do things ourselves. For some reason, I am learning new things about God every day, and thinking more often about him- I have been made to think more often about him, thanks to friends who have needed it, which is definitely God working- and slowly, small things are creeping into my head again, small insights and hopes and understandings and thinkings that bring me back into relationship with God, into talking with him and wanting to talk with him. I am entirely unsure as to how this happened. I certainly didn’t do it voluntarily- I was wrapped in the smog of shutting everything out and sunken into my own silences, and had stopped talking altogether for a while to God. It was just- simply too tiring. But- here I am, thinking again and living again slowly and hesitantly, but realising that it is still living and that God is the one doing these things in me, working in me, and that he will not let me go until the good work he began in me is completed, and all is restored.

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