I read an article recently that stirred some thoughts and I believe are worthy of discussion.
My faith and upbringing have taught me that we have a loving Father, a God that created a bounty of beautiful things that include we, His human children. My religion teaches that all are not to partake in His loving gifts. Man’s idea’s over God’s design. . .
History of my religion even shows women (and apparently some men) – laypersons – being literally walled in with stone as a sign of faith to God. In reality that is not what God created us for. The psychology behind such a truly horrific life I am sure would show some tragic things. “To become an anchorite, one had to go through a strict ceremony where the last rites were administered and then the person was walled up into an enclosure. If the anchorite tried to leave the enclosure, he or she was escorted back and subject to damnation.” I have read (several times) that the same has been said and taught also to religious over the centuries, I believe in some areas as recent as today.
Tell me please – where is God is this … nonsensical cruelty? Lies. Man made idea’s over God.
Once inside those walls – you were literally there for life. No direct human contact (no bath tub), no ability to get your own meal or smell a flower. No stars to view in the dark nights sky. No chance of loving human relationships. No fresh spring rain drops upon your head, no view of the pristine white snowfall – or sense of community. That is not a God given gift. We were made for each other by Him.
I have shared my thoughts with my friend who always indicates our life goal is to prepare for entering the Kingdom of God i.e. Heaven. I tend to counter with – The Kingdom of God is at Hand. In reality? I believe both are His truth.
Our loving Father did create us to see Him within all of the earth’s creatures, to bond and and have loving, caring relationships with other people, critters, tree’s – the ocean – all creation. He gave these gifts for our enjoyment and pleasure.
We learned in the book of Genesis that he made humans complimentary companions for life and how important it is to put God first in any relationship. We learned about communication and respect (or lack of both) with Adam and Eve. Moving ahead to the Gospels – we learn of His gift to us in His only begotten son Jesus Christ. Of forgiveness of sin and hope for a future in life – and in death. We learned of putting aside greed and learning to love, share, care. Communication with others and having the ability to find ways to fill needs we move forward closer to being as He wants and desires His children to be. We grow closer to God in His Kingdom here on earth and His eternal Kingdom when the day comes that our eyes close here for that last time. We are given that hope in His gift that after our passing here we will again see – and – see Him face to face.
The fact remains that we see Him here now when we seek Him. He is in the heart and soul of all believers. You will see Him in the eyes of your loved ones. At times your breath may be taken away with the realization. He loves us so that we can love.
“He created so many beautiful things in life, creatures, people, places, experiences – and – here I sit.” I stated sadly, due to life’s circumstances. The response was somewhat canned (sorry) … It took a turn of (inadvertently) trying to make me feel guilty, that it was sinful self interest or desire, a need to achieve some personal need in this life.
What is missing from such thoughts is rather pure and simple. I am who He created. Psalm 139. I am a human being. I am a woman, mother and grandmother. He created us with human needs and desire and those needs and desires are part of Him and part of Him that creates Joy within from His love – as only He could create.
It is far too simple for religious folks to skim over the faithful, spiritual truth of Him. – That is easy enough to understand when you realize it is what they have been taught for centuries – but it is not easily translated to – humanity.
“Instead of pursuing supernatural and lasting pleasure, we choose things that are easier and quicker to obtain: sex, drugs, travel, houses,cars, fame, popularity, self-achievement
and satisfaction, physical enjoyment,and the like.
We may also find ourselves falling victim to more negative responses to what
life brings us: anger, envy, lust, pride, gluttony, greed, and apathy. Human
hearts can become so hardened to the truth that violence becomes the response
of first choice”
Where is moderation in that quote? Even Jesus Christ showed anger and violence that we do justify! There has to be a balance because that is how we were created by Him. Perhaps it is the type of life experiences that we have (or forgo because we are told it is more Holy to do so?) that confuses. In fact words like this tend to drive people away from He who is a loving God?
Most of us need a car (says she who three weeks later is still waiting to get her car back. . . ). The truth be told would like a different model car but I do accept what I can currently, obviously not well, afford. I would like a home with a fenced area for my grandson so he could play safely in the sun (or spring rain!). I would like to be cared and liked well enough to share my life with another or others. None even quite truly hopes because they just are not meant to be.
A couple of days ago, little one was being rambunctious. I was being unusually emotional and when he accidentally hurt me (over tired and a bit sad about life) tears came. He came over to me with such concern on his little face. He raised his sweet little hand and he wiped away my tears and said “okay Noni? okay?” which admittedly let the damn burst (momentarily) as I thought “I don’t remember the last time someone caressed my cheek, wiped away a tear” and by my God – it felt great and made me so sad at the same time. Life is not meant to be lived alone. He did not create us that way.
Working remotely at this time (thankfully) due to Corvid-19 I am trying to sit outside when I can for 10 or fifteen minutes at noontime when the sun is warm. Vitamin D is a concern for orthopedic reasons. I sat there on my chair, eyeglasses on top of my head and shut my eyes. Gosh darn but didn’t that bright, warm spring sun feel good. Good to the bones. Physical enjoyment? I suppose a massage would be? They often give me one after physical therapy because my muscles are so tight (or in the case of a hip I guess atrophied). So maybe that would be okay?
You see – of course I see a difference in some of these things. Greed, violence, fame, popularity, and yes even sex can be used in sinful ways outside of marriage (or at times within a marriage).
The reality is though that the natural gifts God has given are blessed by Him. The world can blossom and grow through His gifts. Denying oneself or another His love, or the love He blesses us with through others, a kind work, gentle touch. It is relationships such as this that can strengthen and bolster a human being as we become one with Him.
I further read about a story “A man celebrating 60 years of marriage remarked that it took so much effort and so many attempts to convince his wife that they were meant
to be together. Even his friends told him he was foolish. He easily could have
given up and pursued other interests. He chose to persevere and is so grateful that
he made that choice because he now has a pearl of great price. Do we see a value
in persevering in our faith regardless of the cost? If we don’t take the risk, we
could lose more than we know. “
I am not so sure about what your opinion is but mine is this – if his wife couldn’t see Him as a Pearl of great price she was not worth his love. Still, I shed a tear over his tale.
Should we, human beings – Christians persevere in our faith regardless of the cost? I do. I have paid for it. I do my best to share my life of God and go forward. I falter at times, but I am human. He is always there.
What are my hopes for those in my circle? Those that I love? My hope for my sons and grandson is that they all find the love and comfort in Jesus Christ that I have. For all? To hear some of their own words. My hope and prayers are all grow closer to God in His ways and in His gifts in His way. I believe embracing His gifts brings us closer to Him and – denying oneself of His gifts is actuality may be making oneself less in Him because He is in and with all good things. I may be corrected.
When we know this and celebrate His love in such ways our life experiences teach us new things we can never really learn walled off. My personal hopes? They include serving more widely though I am unsure of how. Growing deeper in Him. My grandparents served and grew in many ways in Him with each other throughout their entire lives. They will forever be my role models, I wish my boys would have known them.
I simply place my heart and my soul in His hands. He is in control of everything.