On Heretics and Love
I have always been full of questions. Even as a child. “Skepie”. I was directed by my father to keep the questions coming, except for one thing. God.
He said questions are how we learn. But on the God issue, one must have faith, and not doubt. So for a very long time, I put all the God questions on a shelf. Way up out of reach. And realized one thing that I think is still a valuable truth, learning to walk in love is more important than having all the answers, or not having any questions. Also I had read some interesting things by Oswald Chambers and George MacDonalds that seemed to imply that obedience was the key. Trust and walk in obedience and the answers would come.
One of my dad’s favorite songs was “Trust and Obey”
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
2. Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey.
3. But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey.
4. Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.
The questions and doubts seemed to stay on the shelf quite well, and trusting and obeying seemed the way.
Then, Lucas died. My older son was eight. It was his very best, and only friend. He was hit by a truck. We went to visit him at the hospital, after being told he would be just fine, to a sudden turn of events that his brain had gotten water on it, and he suffered what looked like permanent brain damage, irreversible. Lucas’ mom had asked my son to come and call out his name, because they said if there was any hope for him to come out of the coma it was hearing voices he knew and loved.
to no avail.
They ended up having to pull the plug.
Did this effect my faith?
Dealing with my own children’s grief, and with Lucas’ mom, all the questions she asked me….me relying on…”the rain falls on the just and the unjust”, “through he slay me yet shall I serve him” “the lord givith and the lord taketh away, blessed be his name”
and all the answers I had previously kept in ready supply…sounded…forced.
When in fact, the tidy shelf I had kept just out of reach….came crashing down on me. The onslaught of all the unanswered questions, the doubts….
And so I began a quest, no longer willing to shelve anything. A fierce quest.
After the truth at whatever the cost.
On this quest, I ran into a couple of things….
The first was Christians who did not walk in love, were hateful, mean, called people names, short-tempered, all thing things that did not fit.
(**important clarification point!!! NOT all christians, and people can say they weren’t “true” christians or whatever…)
But, on the flip side, I ran into people that I had been previously taught were dangerous, wicked , of the devil, and or had reprobate minds, who acted just the opposite.
Some of the Baha’i faith, Hindu, atheist, homosexuals, Muslim, Jews, Pagan,
were kind, and showed the qualities of the fruit of the spirit. Some showed humility, gentleness kindness, self control, patience, ….
love, charity, and mercy….
How did these flipped sides of the coin work with “we shall know them by their fruit?”
This was the first step, in my heart having to grow a little bigger.