Secrets in the Dark 8/3/07

The one good thing about being sick, now that I can finally be awake longer then 1 hour is that I finally have time to dig into "Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons" by Frederick Buechner. I've been wanting to read his work badly, but haven't had the proper time to devote to savoring it, as much as I knew I would. I'm only on the 3rd sermon and it's already touched me so deeply. Because I can't help it, and because if Stephanie was here she'd tell you I have an addiction to reading aloud....I've copied an excerpt that has particularly touched me below:

"A face comes toward us down the street. Do we raise our eyes or do we keep them lowered, passing by in silence? Somebody says something about somebody else, and what he says happens to be not only cruel but also funny, and everybody laughs. Do we laugh too, or do we speak the truth? When a friend has hurt us, do we take pleasure in hating him, because hate has its pleasures as well as love, or do we try to build back some flimsy little bridge? Sometimes when we are alone, thoughts come swarming into our heads like bees-some of them destructive, ugly, self-defeating thoughts, some of them creative and glad. Which thoughts do we choose to think then, as much as we have the choice? Will we be brave today or a coward today? Not in some big way probably but in some little foolish way, yet brave still. Will we be honest today or a liar? Just some little pint-sized honesty, but honest still. Will we be a friend or cold as ice today?
All the absurd little meetings, decisions, inner skirmishes that go to make up our days. It all adds up to very little, and yet it all adds up to very much. Our days are full of nonsense, and yet not, because it is precisely into the nonsense of our days that God speaks to us words of great significance-not words that are written in the stars but words that are written into the raw stuff and nonsense of our days, which are not nonsense just because God speaks into the midst of them. And the words that he says, to each of us differently, are 'Be brave...be merciful...feed my lambs...press on toward the goal'"

Buechner talks in this sermon about God proving that he existed, by writing in the stars or brightening the Milky Way. His conclusion to that thought is, some people would probably still not believe.
I don't know why some people believe and others don't. I can't really tell you specifically why I moved from disbelief to belief.
I can tell you that whether you believe or not, whether you are angry or glad, God loves you. He loves you in a way that is almost painful to receive sometimes because you know there is nothing you can do to love God back that much.
When I was a little girl, my dad left me in the car while he ran into the market. It was a stick shift and I wanted to be like my dad, moving that stick around to make the car go faster. He didn't set the emergency brake, so when I moved that stick on the floor, the car started rolling onto the highway. My dad walked out of the market just in time to see the car start down the parking lot to the highway and he ran like I'd never seen before, jumped in the car and slammed on the brakes. I knew I was in trouble. But he didn't yell, which we all know just makes it worse; he just sat there looking at me, and told me he loved me and didn't want me to be hurt. I followed my dad around the rest of the weekend trying to prove that I was worthy of that love....sometimes, I still feel like I have to do that. That's how I feel about God's love. Which in my heart, where God meets me, I know is silly, because there is no way I'll achieve that. But in my head, I'm sure going to keep trying.

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