Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blue Skies Views from the Bottom the Well

Repost from June 11, 2008, in response to the questions that so many of you have asked over the past week. My prayers are with you all!

I have often wondered what did Joseph think when he sat at the bottom of that well, the one his brothers threw him into after he told them his dream. The dream where they would one day bow down before him. What other black thoughts must have followed when he wasted away in the Egyptian prison?

I wonder because I know what it is to think that God has spoken to me, revealed some special thing that was about to happen in my life. The promise of a new tomorrow where for once all things will be as I had hoped that they could be,but always there seems to be dark time where the promise is lost in the reality of miserable moments. Moments where my ability to affect change is swept away from me, where the power is given to another and I must continue to live despite the pain of watching my hopes fade before I ever touched them.

I wonder if Joseph could see the sky in that pit. Did he see the brilliant blue as assurance that God still watched over him or did he feel mockery at its distance? Those years when he was forgotten in a prison did he resent the woman who
wrongly accused him or the God who allowed him to be placed there? Were there moments of anger, pain, and confusion? Or was he blissfully faithful that there would be a day when he saw his dream manifest? Did he reason away hope?

Did he think that perhaps he had merely been the victim of misplaced hope? Did he think God a liar? Did he believe that his pride and arrogance caused this catastrophe? Were there days when he regretted placing credence in the images that
filled his sleep? Did he weep over the death of dream? Or did he stoically accept his fate, believing that all would be well in the end?

I wish I knew. Maybe if we heard the fights, the inner battles he waged with himself, there would be a clue for those of us who wait for God to move on our behalf. Some instruction of how to handle those times when we sit in a pit listening
to our brothers squabble as to whether to kill us or not.

I don't know why dreams often have to die before they can be realized. Sometimes I think it is so that we never mistake this thing that God wants to give us is something we conjured up. Maybe it is so that others will see it truly is God who
brought it into being and not the work of human hands.

There is some comfort in that thought, but my faith isn't always that big. If it was would I mourn the dream? And yet even as I type that last line, I hear the words, "Jesus wept". He wept at the news that his friend had died.

It is a baffling thought really. Jesus wept. I mean wrap your head around the whole scenario for a moment. God incarnate the one who breathed life into the original man, the God who spoke the universe into existence, the God who knows all things - weeps over the death of a friend, the death of his dream.

And we are God's dream. Each of us is a reflection and product of his desire. His dream of relationship, his dream of passion and revelation. We are his dream.

As Jesus moved towards the grave of a man who was his friend, as you and I hope to one day know him, he saw his dream die. With one amazingly distinct difference, he knew that with a few simple words his friend would walk at his side once more.
His tears never made sense to me, but tonight I think I get it.

As we strive to attain a level of communion with God that allows us to walk in faith, even in the most extreme situations, we are not to be callous to the death of a dream. Grieving over the loss of something we hold dear is not a sign of
weakness or even a sign of a lack of faith. It is being human. Indeed, if I may be so bold - it is being God like.

God never asked us to be without emotion. He never demanded that we deny pain. He only asked that we seek him, become conformed to his image as presented through the humanity of Jesus.

There is some debate on how much Jesus realized about his deity while he lived on earth. Some claim that he knew he was God from the moment he was born, others say it was not until he sat in the temple questioning the rabbis. Still others
point to his baptism as the moment of revelation. And even if a time can be determined there is still the question of how much did Jesus know, how much of his God consciousness was he able to access in his human form.

I tend to believe it was limited in many ways. That he knew what he needed to know for the moment. To me it makes his time here more - well, human. It makes his knowledge of our experience more intimate, and his tears at Lazarus death less
hypocritical. It makes his grief real, and not merely a display. And I have to ask, what did he think as he made his way to the grave of his dream?

At what point, did he know that his words held the power to call a rotting body from the ground? At what point, did Joseph realize it was his God inspired words that pulled him from his captivity? Will I know that moment in my life? Will you
know yours?

I really don't know, but I do know that in the mean time it is okay to weep. It is okay to mourn. I am not relinquishing my faith by acknowledging my grief, and should this be a dream that finds resurrection - it will be beyond what I had ever
dreamt it could be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love it! You have such a refreshing insight. God is working through you and it's a beautiful thing.(guess it wouldn't be anything but beautiful coming from God).