Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13th

Last night around midnight, a weary and bone sore soldier climbed into bed with me and caught about four hours sleep. Then his alarm rang and he had to drag himself out of bed and back into the damp and chilly field.

He's asleep on the couch at the moment, in a warm pile of afghan and pillows. He had an MRI earlier, to try and see what is wrong with his back.

I suspect a great deal is wrong with his back. The doctor should call us later today and tell us the result of the scans.

It's possible that the damage will be so great that the Army will officially move Keith to another line of work- one that does not require so much demanding physical activity. Tankers end up ruining their bodies very quickly, because of the nature of their work.

So we are waiting on that whole situation, and I do not think we will be doing any travelling this Christmas season, because of his back pain. We will have a quiet little Christmas at home. I think it will be the first time we won't be travelling anywhere.

I have a small pot roast that I will prepare for dinner and I have dug trusty old Jenkins out from the back room and set him up on the table.

Keith wants head rests and arm covers for the couches, so I will attempt to make some out of pieces of soft, thin leather. I suspect that I will end up ruining quite a few needles in the process. I really am not a crafty person, but I will try.

Blogging has been taking up all my emotional energy, so I haven't been able to work too much on my other writing lately, but yesterday I pulled out my story and crafted the second and third chapters.

I have no idea where I'm going with that story. Actually, that's not entirely true. I'm beginning to see a glimpse of how it could all come together. The emotional work it will require is intimidating.

I also reread a bit of Torii. I saw how vibrant and beautifully detailed that story is- maybe a little too much detail. My distance from the story, due to the length of time since I've last read it, enabled me to edit away a lot of the superfluous description.

I see a lot of things differently lately. Lately, I read one of the many times where Jesus says, If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. (John 14:9)

And I just had to stop, right there, and consider exactly what He was saying. As I contemplated it, it was as if an old and massive edifice -already cracked and damaged- began to crumble and fall completely away to dust.

My old image of God the Father just fell away. I didn't like it at first. It was a little terrifying. I suddenly saw God differently.

He's not some crabby old patriarch, up there, with a long white beard and a lightening fork in one hand- thunderous, displeased and threatening.

If Jesus revealed God to us, and that is what Jesus said He did, then we have this astonishing and almost unbelievable translation of who God is.

This is God- our God is self sacrificing. He is humble. He is moved to tears at our pain and grief. His longing is to heal and restore and to teach and to guide. He takes joy in creating, in pleasure, in life. He is love itself.

He is literally slow to get angry. He stores His anger up for long, long periods of time. He prefers to be turned aside from His anger, even when His cause is just and right, as it always is. God is merciful, takes no pleasure in any one's death, and is unwilling that any should perish.

God could crush us- instead, He pleads with us. We rightfully earned death, but He died for us. We turn our backs to Him- He goes on speaking to us. The sight of His glory would kill us- He put on humanity, and walked among us.

God was born into poverty and hard labor. He got tired and bruised and worn out. He got sweaty and dirty and crushed in the crowds. People jeered at Him. No one understood Him. People hated Him. His own family thought He was mad.

His closest friends betrayed Him, denied Him and couldn't stay awake even to keep watch with Him. His own people shouted out for Him to be put to death.

He died the most humiliating and painful death possible. People mocked and jeered at God even as He hung on the cross, dying.

When He rose again, He appeared first to a formerly demon possessed woman. He told Thomas to actually put his hands in the scars. He broke bread and cooked us breakfast.

That's God. That's what our God looks like.