Understanding

What I’m doing is gross. It’s big, and it’s ugly.

No matter how many people come together around it, and no matter how my path to it allowed my escape from heinous attitudes and creepy morals and just plain hard aspects of life in this sinful-peopled world, it still doesn’t make right that thing I do that God said not to do.

I am every person on the planet.

I’m glad I got married and had kids. Otherwise, I’d have likely been able to hide a lot more from myself than I can.

I’m not a breeze down the hall in your underwear sort of person. Good grief, I shower and dress before sitting at my computer. Tim and I share this reticence toward exposure. We’ve probably reinforced it in one another over the years.

Lately, the three people under this roof have experienced pain. None of us has an easy time expressing, or figuring out, what’s going on and where one person’s trouble ends and another’s begins. We all tend toward melancholy. We miss our Victoria, the one who balanced gloomy storm systems with splashes of sunshine, beckoning cheerier moments or telling us plainly, “You’re not seeing this right.”

Good things arrive, though, even along stony, scrub grass-covered stretches of life’s way. I’m glad for the past couple weeks, because of surviving them, yes, but also because, in struggling to relate with the other two dark thinkers here at home, I’ve been given more glimpses of truth.

As my son and I talked yesterday, he helped me get something I’ve never caught sight of before.

I’ve mentioned here previously my youngest brother, the one whose significant other is a man. My poor, patient little bro. I’ve tried to process verbally what I think about his gayness, using several written venues as well as through talking endlessly about it (sometimes even with him). This wrestling method of mine mirrors the way I deal with Tim when we disagree. Since I’m unable to hide as I bump against people other than myself, it’s my way of forging a path through fogs and forests of confusion to try and understand something complex. I’d rather bury it over in the shrubbery, but some things I must keep talking about, wording in some fashion, until I am able to know.

Here’s the thing my son expressed yesterday, in his own words which I won’t reproduce, but in a similar vein. First, when we’re younger, we experience the negative reactions of others, often adults, to hard stuff. It’s easy at that place in life to reason, I’ll be sure never to go through that. I can make myself stronger than the weak ones around me. Next, we run into situations where hard stuff is forced upon us. Depression/anxiety results, as we recognize our limitations to avoid reacting in ways harmful to ourselves and others. At this time we may reach for a method to escape the truly bad things that grabbed us. We find a different way to do life, even if we achieve it by practicing an act or a “lifestyle” we’ve been taught is wrong.

This becomes more significant the more deeply we think about believing God and trying to do what’s right.

These things we do that help us, but that are understood by many to be unsavory, “gross” or sinful serve a purpose as we scrabble along the road toward wisdom. If we don’t hide from the truth that they’re things God said not to do, then we have to admit we are going against God to some degree.

When I lie to myself, or when I strike out at Tim with words, it’s gross. It’s always wrong. When I rationalize, Just this little bit of something bad; I’m only sidling up beside it; I’m not doing it, it’s always troubling. There are reasons Jesus said so much about the heart of people, about what’s on the inside.

And Paul, writing to people in Rome, expressed rational ideas surrounding the ugliness of sin. He used an example of “grossness” that the people to whom he was writing would agree with. Homosexuality was one of the worst-looking sins they could imagine.

But it has always been just another wrong behavior. The problem I have with our society is its push to dub same-gender sex not gross. It is gross, but people do it. Some of those people have hard hearts toward the truth. Some are soft-hearted, traveling a path where dense fog clears some days so illumination occurs. Like it does some days for me.

If the Bible only included a list of those certain things God disapproves, then we’d be justified wagging our fingers at people doing things we know are wrong. But God looks to me like someone teaching the ones who’ll listen. There are things I couldn’t learn if I never sinned. There are things I need to learn by being unable to ever break free of particular sins.

Yuk, I hate to look at those. I’d so much rather hide. But they make me cry to God to save me. I want to stop the sin, and sometimes God helps me do so. But even more I want God’s mercy. The truth is, mercy is what God will certainly give. That’s God’s solution to the huge and the ugly.

Comments

Cherie said…
You're so deep!

Excuse me, I'm going to go read this a third time now. :-)

(Much to ponder! Excellent.)
Cecily said…
You mean I'm not the only one with ugly spaces in my heart?! Phew! I have this crazy way of sitting at communion feeling like I can't take it because I'm such a miserable sinner... after a few minutes of this it suddenly strikes me that that's the whole point! I am a miserable sinner - so take the communion and rejoice at the forgiveness it signifies!