Friday, September 22, 2006




I don't consider myself to be a mystic, but rather a writer. My mom forced us as kids to write, but it wasn't that much of a punishment for me. I've always had my nose in a book.

Today I've been reading out of Madeline L'engle's book that is a compliation of her forty years of writing. Its called, Glimpses of Grace.

Its divided up into days, and under Sept. 21, part of the reading is this...

"As I read the Old and New Testaments I am struck by the awareness therein of our livves being connected with cosmic powers, angels and archangels, heavenly principalities and powers, and the groanings of creation. It's too radical, too uncontrolled for many of us, so we build chuches which are the safest possible places in which to escape God. We pin him down, far more painfully than he was nailed to the cross, so that he is rational and comprehensible and like us, and even more unreal."

This month Granada celebrates her patron saint. Named the Virgin of Anguish, she is a weeping Mary, with great regal robes, and Jesus lying dead in her lap.

I've learned a lot our three years here in Spain. We are closer culturally to the Middle East than Spaniards would like to admit. Fisherman still go out into small boats and fish, just like Jesus and his friends did. There is a small carpentry shop near our house, and I hear their saws all day long, and it smells like sawdust when you walk past. The terrain here is rough and raw, lots of rocks and small ugly little trees in the driest places. I understand the verses that talk about the joy that new wine and grain bring, because its still a vital part of Spanish life.

For me, Christ seems more real, if that's a phrase, living here in the Med. I can envision the way things were in a clearer picture. But even here, people have a hard time wrapping their minds around God, so they bring to life the princes and powers that rule this world and create statutes of them...and call them their god.

The Godness and the humanity is so hard for us to wrap our minds around. We always try like the Israelites of Old to bring him off the mount of Sinai and put him on our level. We do things like write systematic theologies, use acronyms, write self help books to be better Christians (as if God were the Great Big Shrink) create seeker sensitive servicies, and more. Does God really need us to explain back to Him who He is? Does he need catchy acronyms to describe his atributes? Do we need to whip ourselves, using self flagulation like Catholics of Old to please him? Do we need to make him culturally attractive so people realize He exists?

Or could we just see faith as a mystery, see the Cross as the greatest event in history, revel in our freedom to follow God, and be so excited we can't wait to tell everyone?

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