Jesus said – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be
Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
This post is going to include a bit of an update on my parents as well as some theological reflection. Remember as you read that my goal in this space is always authenticity. I try to think out loud, and to offer a take on truth that is at once both honest and encouraging.
It is not my intention to foster doubt, or to offend anyone’s spiritual sensibilities – but there is no point in inspiration that is not anchored in a true story.
This whole situation is challenging to my experience of faith. Not my belief in the fact of God – that is not in question, but I am struggling with how big ideas such as my understanding of God’s compassion, and God’s personal interest in the lives of particular people, play out in the day-to-day reality of good people like my parents.
My mother turns 90 in week and a half, and I’m sure I will write more about her history then, but longevity for both mum and dad seems less of an achievement and more of a burden. And I am having some pointed conversations with God about the justice in that.
Because both my parents have not just lived long lives they have lived good lives, faithfully and lovingly serving God, always giving of themselves generously, always practicing Christ’s calling to “love your neighbor as yourself…”
Good lives and hard questions:
Thursday was a beautiful day in Wake Forest, with milder temperatures. So I took dad up the driveway and around the cul-de-sac for a walk. It was a bright moment in a difficult week but even the bright moment took more from dad in effort than it gave back in joy.
Friday, we had to visit the oral surgeon for some extractions, and the ordeal was almost more than dad could bear. Getting him out of the clinic and into my car was an adventure I don’t want to repeat, and the long afternoon and evening of post surgical care at home was almost too much for me.
It is not my intention to whine here, or to look for sympathy so much as to open a conversation about this disconnect I feel sometimes between faith in a personal and compassionate God and this difficult (and I believe unfair) chapter of my parents’ lives.
Not to chip away at the edges of faith, but to invite some deeper thinking in terms of understanding.
Me and God are going to be okay, I know that, but we are going to continue to have words so long as my parents suffer.
Peace – and I mean that in every way – DEREK