What kind of God are you, dying like that?
I want a real God, a “fix it “ God,
not one that gets himself crucified.
You’re just as helpless as the rest of us.
Here we are dying together.
What a weird way to save a world!
Such sorrow pierced your mother.
Yet, she didn’t run away.
She stayed there suffering too.
Was she filled with a mother’s self doubt?
“Could she have done anything?
Would it have made a difference?”
I watched my mother die by inches.
Her dignity destroyed
by fourteen years of Alzheimer’s.
I’ve seen my children make choices
that would cost them for years.
I could only ask, “Am I to blame?”
I listened to my friend whose mind
had become her enemy.
I heard her pain, yet could not help.
I hate being helpless, not good enough
or smart enough to help
even the ones I love the most.
Not long ago, you did miracles
even in my own small life.
Now I just see our brokenness.
You are a Good Friday God.
I think about the expectations
you gave your Apostles.
Only Judas got the picture.
How disillusioned he became.
He must have felt that you
were betraying them all.
Sometimes I’m just like Judas,
recognizing that we
are all sheep being shorne.
I’m even as cowardly
as Peter in asking
more or less, “Jesus who?”
But I know as well as John did
that your love is perfect.
That we need nothing more.
Even though like doubting Thomas
I fear a hard ending,
you are my Lord and my God,
my only God.
So I ask for grace to follow
though through the cross you call,
my Good Friday God.
I realize that much of what hits me is really pretty obvious, but sometimes familiar things suddenly speak to me at a different level, hopefully one that will help me grow more loving.
I used to think that praising God was loving God, then I realized that God doesn’t need praise, He wants us to praise him for our sakes. He wants us to lift our eyes from our tiny selves so we can connect with Him and his love, and get a very different perspective on life.
I also, have “known” for a long time that what we do to others we do to Jesus/God.
I had some difficulties with the “Love God with your whole heart etc. and love others as you love yourself.” First, if I love God with my whole self, what’s left over for others? Plus, my study of Psychology and my own experience have shown me that I love others exactly as I love myself! When I am in a good place about myself, I find it much easier to love others and when I am in a bad place about loving myself, I am the Wicked Witch of the West to others. Which fits with Paul’s statement that we love, because God first loved us. God is our well spring. And we may be Spirit filled, but we leak. So we have to keep returning to our source.
Jesus grew in his understanding and ultimately called us to a whole other level of loving….to love as Jesus loved is to put aside our self for others. The way we love God is by loving others with no conditions. Not my favorite thing frankly. This morning after reading a post on the blog “everyday gurus” about a child correcting his father when the father criticized someone the child loved, I realized that mostly my way of loving is, “I love you, BUT…….couldn’t you stop doing …… couldn’t you be more thoughtful……couldn’t you show more appreciation……..” In other words, I love you, but I’d love you more if you met my needs, my expectations.
When my kids were young and got in trouble, they used to say: “Nobody’s perfect!” And my husband would say, “Well, try a little harder!” But that’s the same thing really. The goal isn’t to be perfect, but to love the imperfect. It somehow seemed clearer today that the only way we really have to love God, who is way beyond our comprehension, is to love His creation and creatures, but particularly the most challenging ones, his very human people. I do pretty well with the creation part, a little less well with some of his creatures, and generally at some point fall back to: “I love you, BUT” with his people……. particularly those closest to me, whom I expect to meet at least some of my needs.
So much for loving God! Dear God, I love you, BUT………………………….!
Well, back to the drawing board……………..or better, to the Source.