Saturday, October 4, 2008

Do you believe what you say?

Sorry, I haven’t been around for awhile. It’s been easy to sit and stare, not thinking about anything at all, as though that were possible. It’s another autoimmune issue and not that serious. Some parts of it are funny. Especially when I get dead man’s fingers. (Great. Just in time for Halloween.) Looking at the yellow cadaver-like ends, (it’s always temporary, muchas gracious) Denis and I wondered if it could be a warning to people who use certain fingers in aggressive, rude gestures. (That wouldn’t be me.) Just like when your mother used to say, don’t stick out your lip like that or it’ll stay that way.

I’ve recalled parts of the Heidleburg Confession -- I’ve always liked that piece of work. It has a beauty to it that other confessions sort of lack.

Q & A 26
Q. What do you believe when you say,
"I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth"?

A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who out of nothing created heaven and earth
and everything in them,
who still upholds and rules them
by his eternal counsel and providence,
is my God and Father
because of Christ his Son.

I trust him so much that I do not doubt
he will provide
whatever I need
for body and soul,
and he will turn to my good
whatever adversity he sends me
in this sad world.

He is able to do this because he is almighty God;
he desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.

So, do I really believe this?
When I take a long view of life, one that extends past death, there’s no doubt; I believe he will provide all I need. It’s more difficult living with what daily life dishes up. You know you’re a little imbalanced when you drop your peanut butter toast face down on the floor and feel like crying. I grab the scruff of my neck and ask: Oh, yes! And what about your brothers and sisters living in Zimbabwe who have no toast at all? That should make you weep.

When I look at tragedy -- large or small, I would rather say God allows adversity. But I can’t argue that’s always the case. I know he does send adversity. It’s the modifier “whatever” that I find comforting. “he will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this sad world.” Whatever.

The last two lines are sort of a kicker. There is the paradox that gives hope and healing! That someone of such power is both – almighty and tender. Mighty on my behalf. Tender to me. I count on that every day, in every circumstance. Not just for myself, (how self-absorbed!) but for all who groan.

Today, is an achingly, beautiful fall day. The air is cold and still, but the sun warms. The last of the cabbage butterflies and bumble bees loaded with pollen strain the asters with their clumsy weight. Friend, Anita, lovely and unexpectedly strong for someone so small, has a staging ground in our side yard, where pots of grass, bearded iris, and lady’s mantle wait to be set into the front beds. For a while we stood under the fir tree watching the chickadees and gold finches spar and swear at one another for a place the thistle feeder, and we decided we wanted to go back to the Garden and work there. We could help Adam & Eve rearrange the dogwood shrubs and lay stone borders.

Yes I do believe.


Anonymous said...

I really look forward to your blog entries. I have thought many of the same things. The constant problem of getting our little minds around God's workings. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
Debbie Ferguson

Margie Haack said...

Thank you, Debbie. I agree.

jenni said...

I'm sorry to read you have autoimmune issues - I hope they are mostly not serious. And I admire how you can laugh at the symptoms. I need to learn to do that more with my issues. Lovely theological thoughts, too - thank you - I needed to read those today.