Tuesday, March 30, 2010

me and Jesus (again)

"Prayer of the Day: For those in need

God of the broken, God of the wanderer, Christ who is without shelter, surround those in deep need among us. Surround them and help us hear their cries for help. We are a people who long for the broken to be mended. We long for justice in the face of much corruption. We want to practice hospitality but have legitimate fears. Surround us in our trying times and help us to reach beyond ourselves. We confess we are bogged down by so much need in the world. May we have the courage to stand for what is right even when it offends, the imaginations to help create a better world, and the strength of your Spirit to carry on. Let us be as you are in this world. Amen."

So, today on facebook (shame) I got links to the above and to this in my "news feed"

The prayer really speaks to me. I don't talk to Jesus/God/Christ/Anyone like that, but sometimes, when someone else does (on my behalf?) It stirs something deeply in me (often if someone does it on my behalf it pisses the hell out of me - maybe I just have to be able to choose whether I identify with the supplicants in question.)

As for joy. Yeah, I want more joy. I want more joy in meeting. I want room for it. I don't necessarily feel like there isnt' room for it (and what do I know? I mostly hang out with middle schoolers, and mostly corrupt them at least as much as I teach them anything - we made paper airplanes a few weeks ago, which I felt sort of guilty about, until someone pointed out to me that there had been a message in meeting about our lack of joyfulness, then I felt downright productive!)

The comments on the blog post veered toward the joy that people who have given their lives over to Christ feel.

and I come up short.

It's not even that I DON'T want to give my life over to Christ. I have no idea what that means. I have to say that pretty much anyone I've seen who claims to have done it seems to range from about as happy and loving as I am to downright petty and nasty. I know a few Christians, as I've mentioned before, who really radiate the love of Christ (or whatever) but they generally spend zero, nada, absolutely NO energy telling me that I'd be better off if I was a Christian. They seem relatively firm in their belief that Christ loves the stuffing out of me and there's nothing I can do about it. (but true love isn't stalking, or manipulating, or threatening - if you really love someone and they have no interest in you you don't harass them mercilessly, you love them, from whatever distance they require)

Sometimes I feel like I have a really amazing relationship with Jesus, I just have to keep it secret from his "followers" (and I'm not just talking about Pat Robertson, I'm talking about Quakers) that makes me really sad


Martin Kelley said...

The most common form that I experience Jesus is as the comforter. When I first started my blog I called it "Quaker Leap for Joy" after Fox's description of his big opening. We all know he said "there is one, even Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition" but the next sentence goes "And my heart did leap for joy."

I've been part of Christian Quaker meetings where I just didn't feel the love. Theologically correct, but missing the involvement and charity and care that is supposed to be the fruit of all this. Sometimes I think Jesus is best represented in quiet conversations between people who just want to share and talk with one another.

earthfreak (Pam) said...

Martin - I really like that, "quaker leap for joy" - why did you change it?

and yet the concept of "theological correctness" just baffles me. - theology seems to me a way of trying to make sense of something that is completely and forever beyond us. We may come up with some really great metaphors, even some really great insight, but actually thinking we know what is "correct" seems counter productive to me. (and scary)