I imagine Adam and Eve must have discussed news, weather, and sports, before they began hiding from God and each other and speaking in vaguenesses and riddles. No cooking or cleaning or who’s going to take the kids to practice. Just how many goats were born and how many peaches in a pie.
I can’t imagine a world without conflict. A job to do; no problems to solve. How would that even work?
Adam ate the fruit. (Eve was deceived. Adam went willingly.
No Buick necessary.) The world and the human race were altered forever.
What we have now is a broken world full of people who, while created in the image of God, hunger and thirst and grasp for things that are not offered. Refusing the bounty before them, they seek more. More power. More pleasure. More promise. Just more.
It isn’t ugly most of the time. Often it’s pitiful. Sometimes it’s poetic. Mainly, it is a pedestrian pursuit of equality or “fairness”in comparison with our peers. Ick.
Once we were broken. Once we were ashamed. Once we were isolated from God and each other, life became a battle to reclaim the unbroken and unashamed. To know and be fully known. To rest satisfied and to trust intimately.
More frightening and thrilling than extreme sports or stalking celebrities, is the practice of some odd souls to seek a deeply satisfying everyday existence. Working to live…not living to work. Being present for their kids. Teaching those kids what they believe. Telling them what’s right and wrong. Trying to set an example of living graciously and by grace. Loving their spouses–dare I say, sacrificially.
The risk is not, typically, being dashed on the rocks below or a felony conviction.
The risk is heartbreak.
From the cradle to the grave. There are those who seem always to be doing it right and getting handed both ends of a too short stick.
Too much pain. Too much loss. Too much grief.
There are those who are
fearlessly, bravely, recklessly, deliberately, obediently walking onto the battlefield.
We look at them and wonder if we could handle that kind of heartbreak.
There have been times in my life, I’ve wondered if God creates certain people to be vessels to carry pain. They grieve on behalf of many. They are to feel the pain, so that those who couldn’t handle it can pass by unscathed.
It’s been clear to me for many years, that God also trusts some of us with trials that would crush another.
He trusts me with these trials. No need to be jealous of another’s…I couldn’t handle them. In reality, there isn’t anyone else’s I know well enough to make that kind of call anyway.
We have hearts.
Before the fall, no biggie. Unbroken fellowship. Nekkid intimacy.
After the fall, an eternal quest to plug into an ever-craving heart, anything and everything that doesn’t satisfy. It feels good and slowly kills us (like me and a nice Rx). When we do figure out it’s only relational intimacy that will do, we then face the challenge of behaving for the other’s best without getting hurt. A version of football’s “Prevent Defense”.
Eventually, we find that doesn’t work.
We have hearts. If we are to be obedient stewards of them, we must step into life without our armor. In order to fully live, we must have our eyes open. Follow the rules of the game, no matter how hard it gets. When we suffer a break, we know we are moving towards victory.
Yes, you heard me.
When we do right and get hurt, it’s a sign we’re using this heart, created in God’s image, the way it was designed to be used.
God doesn’t let on much about His heartbreaks. His kids are a continual source of pain. We throw his gifts in His face. We disobey and get hurt. He wants more for us. He wants unbroken intimacy with us and gets foolishness from us instead. He doesn’t put the focus on His desire, but on our safety, quite frankly. Even, more, on the security and satisfaction of our souls.
There is not a heartbreak we bear that doesn’t display His image on us. His plan from the beginning has been for us to illustrate Him to those around us.
Remember photo negatives? When you held them to the light, you could see a distorted vision of the actual. After the developing process, the real picture was revealed.
One moment in time held up to the light. Still, indistinct until the process is complete.
Ugly, until then.
What do they call it then?