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Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Isaiah 26:3 A warning in advance-in...

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. 
Isaiah 26:3
A warning in advance-in as polite and Godly a manner possible, having prayed mightily, this post calls out the BS of The Body of Christ as they choose silence over action, as they choose to shun their own when we get controversial or inconvenient (notice I did not mention truthful), to ghost them, and to try silencing their voices because the “noise” they hear is CONVICTION. If you feel hurt by what you read, I advise you to do as I do daily. Make peace with your unease. Enlightenment hurts.

Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton writing for Today’s Christian Woman, describe pain in this way. In an article entitled, Why Does God Leave His People in Pain?

Suffering Christian, you are alive today because God has a purpose for your pain that is for the good of others and the Glory of Christ. Death- to-self may be at work in your suffering, but life-in-Christ is at work in the church.

I have made peace with my uneasiness; I have made peace with my fears. I struggle with the call to social justice AS spiritual warfare-it’s not particularly appealing and rarely is it much fun. However, it is that to which God calls me, urging me out far beyond my comfort zone into the desert, as it were, to be away from the world and closer to Him. (It’s not all that lonely, for you see, we are legion.) Formerly, I would silence the whispers and tell simple, pretty stories of Grace and His Goodness. I still write those stories. Braver now, as I thank and praise God daily for my tribe, I am grateful for their prayers over me for holy boldness and their encouragement of my voice even as my fingers tremble at the keyboard. I don’t always desire to write and say what I do, but I must. My people are God’s Hands, His Whispers, His Urgings, and His Grace and Peace over me, especially when I am weary, worn, and sad.

When the world disappoints me, as it so often does, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Charlottesville, VA, I seek Him and sit quietly with doubt, with my discontentment, even with my fear, letting Him and it have their way. And then, seeking Him, I listen for its lessons.

Because we have somehow come to see alignment with conservative politics as Christianity and a quiet acceptance of any forms that perverted ideal takes in our current climate make us awkwardly silent….

They remind me that we who follow Christ (I’m kinda over the “Christian” thing right now as it sticks in my throat) remember that we are perfectly made in the image of God (particularly those whom you cannot stand). It also reminds me that mature followers of Christ, those who remain beyond the point of convenience, risk hurt, but never fail to talk to and pray for one another. I’ve had hard conversations with sisters and friends in Christ and often agreed to disagree. I’ve also been challenged in love and respect, to tone down my rhetoric when it does NOT honor the God I claim to serve. I am frail, flawed, and beautifully human. I make every effort to humble myself, take myself none too seriously, and to seek Him in every moment. When people whose hearts I know call me out in love, I am blessed. I am at peace. 

Sometimes I write things that surely are not of my own doing. I came across this, and it laid over me like Ezekiel’s rain blessing. 

 “Perfect Peace. The only peace that keeps us sane in the midst of the chaos. How do we obtain this Perfect Peace? By keeping our minds steadfast, focused on God, on His Word. By trusting in our Father, His Plans and His Purposes.”
And what is chaos? We are taught in Genesis that “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep" (Gen. 1:-2, ESV). In the beginning God brought order, but before order, there was chaos. There is a Divine Purpose for chaos.  We cannot do anything about chaos, but we serve The One Who Does.

And that is often when He feels most near. When chaos swirls, either in my heart or in the world, I am reminded that we have a holy obligation to yield; to seek Him, mindful that we drag ourselves through chaos each time we forget the Maker of our Peace. That Perfect Peace, the one surpassing all good sense, reason, or human understanding. That achieved only by remaining steadfastly in Him. Trusting His Purposes and His Plan, and acknowledging that even chaos serves Divine Purpose. That we yield. That we surrender. That we mindfully, gratefully, obediently submit. To worship. To quiet, and then to Action. So that, even in times of great chaos, we may be brought into order, by Him Who Created chaos, Who Created us.
Until we are willing to comfortably reveal our scars, we lack credibility to promise healing to those in pain. Until the Body of Believers consistently aims to actively practice compassion, the lack of compassion and humility I have personally experienced is woefully disappointing, hurtful, and worst of all, counterintuitive to any Christian teaching I know.

So until the Body is ready, I will continue to write that to which God calls me. I will continue to do as I do daily; make peace with my unease. And finally, when the world disappoints me, as it w often does, I will continue seeking Him as I sit in quiet, discontented doubt or fear, letting Him and it have their way. 

Finally, my earnest plea is this. For so long, I have lamented, Fix it, Jesus. This morning, in my time of meditation, I was reminded of an old spiritual, wherein my ancestors, speaking their faith into my life, allow me to stand upon their shoulders in order to see across the great divide between where we are now as a nation and as a community of Faith to the kingdom He promised, here on earth, as it is in Heaven. Their words? My charge?

Fix me, Jesus. 


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