Saturday, December 1, 2007

july: a smack in the face

We need to battle for the freedom of their souls. I’m not talking about preaching the gospel or leading worship services or building faith into a community, as important as those things are, I’m talking about going to war, about fighting tooth and bloody claw for someone, taking the evil one on and, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, sending him reeling back to the foul smelling pit of filth he originated from.

It’s time, men and women of God.
It’s time we started having church.

I was confirmed into the Army of Christ when I was in seventh grade. Had a sponsor (my mom) and a confirmation name (Peter). Walked down the center aisle at St. Joseph’s church. The bishop must have been there, but I don’t remember much else.

I do remember that being confirmed meant I was done. Done with CCD classes. Pretty much done with church. I had fulfilled the requirements. Someone may have said I was a soldier in Heaven’s Armies, but honestly, I didn’t even know there was a war going on at the time.

Am I any different today?

As we move into the second half of Today at the Mission, I had one of those smack-in-the-face moments as July came to a close. It’s time, men and women of God…

Turning a page with [rhymes with kerouac] you come face to face with the truths you have buried… realities of our world that at some point I conveniently locked away in some remote part of the brain.

And just as I am finally coming to grips in this book with what John Edwards might call “the two Americas”… [rwk] puts this all into an ever bigger context… there is a spiritual dimension to everything we say or do.

I don’t remember the first time I physically felt this battle, probably some time in the past year. But like the images of the war in Iraq I see on TV, I soon compartmentalize these spiritual manifests… returning to the happy, easy life on this earth. I sit on the sidelines while Jesus stands at the front lines.

And that what is scaring me most, as I write these words. That as my time with this emotionally challenging book comes closer to an end, that I will find myself moving on to the latest Crichton novel… or maybe I’ll just chill out with some back issues of Entertainment Weekly to dull my mind.

In her September review of this book, wilsonian wrote “reading this book will change how you look at the marginalized, and it will change how you look at yourself.”

So I sit here today worried… what if nothing really changes? What if I don’t really change?
It’s time, men and women of God.


wilsonian said...

Your careful review of this book has been such a gift to me. It's like reading it over again.

It's one piece of the journey Ed. I don't think you have to worry about "being done" when you're done with this book. But I'm having interesting times of encouragement, in the midst of my struggle and mistakes, that I have more power than I ever dreamed. I have more choices than I ever thought. A dawning awareness of the reality of Jesus within is amazingly potent.

Hmmm... sorry lol. This probably should have been a post at my place. All this to say that I understand the fear completely... but you are more than a conquerer!

TK said...

I believe I know, in small part, the person you are becoming.
You may falter and stumble but the transformation into the E.G. you were created to be will not be stopped.

Anonymous said...

i like the way God changes us through the Holy Spirit. sometimes we see the changes happening, but, most of the time we do not see until looking back on the change that has been made in how we do things. we seem to become aware of this as we are surprised by ourselves, doing something differently that we use to do it, think and choose differently than we use to. and in this post i am aware of your change in thinking over the years. how the Holy Spirit has made changes in your heart since that introduction to your heart so many years ago in the presence of teachers, friends, family and God, in the classes and gatherings in the building of St. Josephs. you are being changed and God is not done with you yet.

Ed G. said...

erin-you can post here anytime!

tk-thank you for your encouragement, here as well as in the non-digital world

nancy-the gift of the holy spirit is one of god's biggest mysteries, and greatest gifts. thanks for adding that.