Looking Back – Part 3

Oops. I haven’t blogged in quite some time. Most of my “tech time” has been spent fiddling around with Apple’s Garageband and iTunes because I’m thinking of starting a podcast. It would include my sermons, as well as some original material that I would produce, kind of like a radio show.

Any comments on the podcast idea?

In the meantime, I’m going back to my Lenten discipline of sharing my spiritual autobiography. Just recently in the Daily Office we read the story of a man whose son has an evil spirit. The man, in desperation, begs Jesus to help: “If you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:22).

Jesus says back, “If you are able! – All things can be done for the one who believes” (9:23). Then comes the kicker. The man replies:

Juxtaposition

“I believe; help my unbelief!”

Today’s Christian world is marked with questions concerning the Bible’s veracity. Are the holy scriptures true? Did those stories really take place?

I cannot give a comprehensive answer to big questions like these. But I can say, with absolute integrity, that this man’s juxtaposed reply is true.

I believe. I left the other half of my life, Maggie, behind in Texas for three years so that I could go off to seminary in Virginia. I tithe. I have helped the poor. I believe.

Yet that is not a full account of my life. I would be fooling myself, and you, if I didn’t share some of the darker, unbelieving, periods of my life. Like when I was diagnosed with diabetes, and I thought God had turned his face from me. Or when I make cruel remarks about others. Or when my prayers are torturous moments of silence and screaming at the same time. O Lord, help my unbelief.

Gracefully, this passage gives us license to explore both the heights and depths of our spiritual lives. Nothing, no darkness nor mountaintop experience, is outside of God’s embrace.

So go ahead and be honest with God. When have you believed? When have you needed God’s help? In a prayer life, wrapped in God’s embrace, we are given license to test these waters. We are invited to reflect, to look into the mirror of our lives not with shame or disgrace, but with comfort and grace.

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