Monday, March 26, 2007

Tell me, am I very far? I'm on my way to see Her...

I've been talking to someone about God.

I know. How the hell did that happen? I was just going about my business, being a part of an emergent community that thinks it's cool to drink beer and doesn't look down on the occasional swear word uttered, even in church. I was happy sitting back and silently (and not so silently) judging those in other congregations who dedicate every waking moment of their lives to trying to find a way to shove God into a random conversation. My credo was that I felt it should be a more natural occurrence, that trust should be built and you should value the person solely for being who they are before you presume to talk to them about your faith. But seriously, who of us actually believe that conversation will ever occur? It has occurred and it's been an off and on conversation for a couple of years.

It's on again and the scary part is that this person is the one who has taken the initiative, not me. (Part of me feels wrong for even talking about this.)

We've talked about the limits of knowledge and how there's really no way to be certain. On this we both agree. We've come to the conclusion that both of us are standing at the dark abyss wondering what's there. I've concluded there is something on the other side, based solely on a few shreds of shaky evidence and the fact that because I, and most of the rest of humanity,want something (or Someone) to be there suggests there may be. And basically, I've chosen to believe. For this person, the jury is still out.

The other day I was thrown for a loop. This person asked me if I can still feel Kyle with me.

Utter silence overcame me, and then I began to verbally stammer and stumble.

I lied. I said I did. But I don't. I think about Kyle almost constantly. Sometimes when I look into the face of Jude I can hardly keep myself from crying because the resemblance is so strong. Strong memories overcome me when I find myself in certain places or certain conversations. But what does it mean to feel someone with you after they have died?

I plan on telling this person about my lie. I guess I believed if I could say that yes, in fact I do have a strong tangible feeling that my deceased friend is with me, then it would somehow be stronger evidence for this God I say I believe in.

There's some pretty convincing stuff out there that seems to disprove the existence of God. Among them-- my lack of faith in Jesus to truly follow him... writings from guys like Sam Harris, Carl Sagan, and Richard Dawkins... and the 2004 cancellation of "Ed."

But I'm still a blind man listening to the echoes, holding out hope they are real.


Anonymous said...

I hope all is well in Waco. I always enjoyed spring in Waco. I appreciate your wrestling with the great difficulties of life and of faith. Lent is an especially proper time to reflect on death. I can only imagine the death of a close friend extends such reflection. I have been thinking a lot about death...I am doing a series on Wednesday nights. I came across what struck me as an interesting observation on that wonderful passage from John 11:35. My personal favorite when my father would put us on the spot for a memory verse. At the death of Lazarus, Jesus wept. Even though he was about to raise him from the grave. I found an interesting devotional meditation on this passage. A reminder that death is a real separation. What does it mean to "feel" someone's presence. Sure we can have wonderful memories, we can see vestiges of our loved ones, they are painfully absent.


RVC said...

excellent. I miss Ed too, dammit you've caused my faith to waver.

John said...

Yeah, Sam Harris' letter to a christian nation was a pretty rough read. i think i was an atheist for like 2 days after finishing that book.

Katy said...

Wow, you talked about God to a friend? Who are you? I dont' even know you anymore!

I am, of course, just joking. But I love that you wrote about this. I wrestle with the same type of stuff. Lately I catch myself talking about God with friends when three years ago, I tried NOT to bring it up for fear of being considered a phony. Weird.

Michelle said...

I think things like favorite show cancellations, Carl Sagan, etc...actually strengthen my relationship with God. It's always when I go to church that it is questioned. Weird.

Again, love your blog. Keep it up. It's super inspiring.

Carn-Dog said...

is that last line yours?

pretty good

Chris said...

Hey man,

(Wow I felt like I was 12 after I wrote that). I have not had a chance to check your blog recently, or do much of anything at all. Ah, to be consumed with something.

I hope all things are well.

The whole "do you feel Kyle with you?" question is a tough one. I think it has a lot to do with where we are raised. Or, this would make Emergent folk happy, how our culture has shapped us.

Oh, well.

Canceling Ed was tragic, but then again so was canceling Alf.