Beauty and the Threat of Death
It's one thing to trust God. It's another to trust how things are going to work out. I don't equate the two. I would argue from all view points (theological, philosophical, biblical, etc.) and from experience that to trust one is to not trust the other. They are mutually exclusive. Our community has recently paid off its mortgage. For the first time in years there's no financial emergency. We have money. However, this does not necessarily mean that everything is going to be fine now. It doesn't mean that God is now on our side and that we are necessarily going to succeed. Our community continues to shrink. Key supporters have left and others have stopped supporting. I have no explanation for it. I think we are doing everything we should do. I'm not sure we are doing everything we can do. We're going to spend the month of March in reflection, gathering our thoughts and trying to discern what is going on with as much honesty as we can muster . I've been having some disturbing dreams lately. I wake up crying sometimes. In my dreams I am asking the men who've left to come back. My friends. But they don't answer. I beg them with tears. It is so tragic, and I wonder just how responsible I am for them leaving. On the one hand, it is an incredibly sad tale of rejection and grief. On the other hand it just seems pathetic of me to be begging. But I miss them all. I want them to come back. They know it. But they don't return. And more key people are getting picked off one by one. Some are telling me that they have to cut back in their giving or stop altogether. These are tough economic times and many people aren't even able to pay their basic bills. Lisa and I included! I know intimately what they are going through! But aside from that: what does this all mean for our community? I cannot predict the future. I wish I could! That's the concept behind the cartoon this morning. I don't think it's possible to know. Oh, I know some people might predict, prophesy and presume, but in my opinion it's all guess work. Some would like me to believe that if I just trust then everything is going to work out in our favor. Don't believe it. I trust him and submit to his hand, whatever it brings. And I have no idea what it's bringing. I hope it is good. But there's no guarantee. I'm stuck in Job's proclamation: Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. I love our community. It is beautiful. But like Paul said: to some we are the fragrance of life. To others we are the fragrance of death. I realize how brutal this sounds, but although I hope in him, death always seems to be crouching at our door, and I can't shake it. The fine art photograph is the creation of my friend Jorgen Klausen. It pictures the juxtaposition of beauty and the threat death.