Sunday, September 10, 2006

Love Will Rise...

The past week has seriously gone by in a haze. I guess technically I was only sick for three days, but it has definitely taken it's toll for longer than that. I used to think it would be cool to have chronic fatigue syndrome, but not anymore. It's fun laying on the couch for hours on end when you want to. But when you do it out of necessity...not so much fun. I feel I may be coming out of it, but I've felt that before.

Being sick reinforces the interconnectivity of all reality. Those who hold to a strict separation between the spiritual, physical, emotional, and social sides of human behavior have never experienced illness. Avoid like the plague those who would sit down over coffee and tell the each other, "Let's forget about all the other stuff and focus on the 'spiritual' things today." These people are not wanting to talk spiritual. They are wanting to explore ways to become part of the elite, the chosen.

My spiritual reality is that when we sang "How Great" today in church, I was singing but thinking to myself "You know, I'm not really sure who or what is that great right now." And when Crowder began "Come Awake," I had no pretension about what would be gong through my mind when I sang it. No ideas of general resurrection. No thoughts of Easter or how God metaphorically brings all things to life again. My weakened body would have none of that and all I could think about was that my closest friend was here for my birthday last year and not this year and I was literally singing for him to come awake.

I think this is Christian spirituality in it's most raw form... Refusing to let a clear mind get in the way of what is in the deepest part of your soul. Sickness will deprive you of a clear mind. It makes it difficult to operate heavy machinery, but easier to stand face to face with the creator of the universe.*

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(*Disclaimer: I believe a clear mind plays a role in Christian spirituality as well. So don't stone me you foundationalists, or revelatory foundationalists.)

9 comments:

Aaron said...

I don't think spirituality is necessarily about what is in the deepest parts of your soul, though at times it could be. I know that many times what is in the deepest part of my soul is just sin, and what I need at that moment is for the Law to expose and kill me so the Gospel can raise me back to life.

I agree that we cannot strictly separate the spiritual and the bodily. Sometimes the most godly thing someone can do is just go to bed. Speaking of, goodnight!

Aaron said...

Oh, and thanks for distinguishing between different types of foundationalism! You have more intellectual sophistication than most people who use that word.

Liz said...

happy late birthday craig! hope all is well. miss hearing your pearls in clp...

Craig said...

aaron,
i used the word so you wouldn't throw a fit.

Ifoundbobbyfisher said...

I think sickness and other mind/body weakening situations and experiences are a vital part of spiritual formation. I've been reading Thomas Merton's "New Seeds of Contemplation" and the idea of moving beyond reason, logic, definition, and even understanding can sometimes be enhanced by sickness. When we're not able to think clearly, sometimes we're able to just "be." The move beyond analysis to experience is necessary... even if it's just experience of weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Otherwise we come to trust our own faculties far more than we probably should.

Hope you're feeling better for real.

Singleton said...

Sorry I missed your b-day Craig. I keep thinking I'm coming through to the otherside of my sickness problems as well. We will see. Feel better.

jenA said...

I didn't even know you were having a birthday until Tracey told me she sacrificed her platter to save your cake. I feel wronged.

Janalee said...

The first birthday without someone you love is terrible. I thought about you for that reason the other day. I hope you are feeling better.

greenISgood said...

I've read somewhere that "sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien" and therefore patience with oneself is utmost necessary for the body to heal.

Your words from the underside are just as important and poignant as when you're in your best health. Glad you're on the upslope.