the God of arms & legs
the other day while watching one said western, there was this really dubious scene in which the reverend of the small dusty town goes inevitably crazy, overtaken by the overwhelming darkness & wickedness that's grown so familiar around him. one of the lost settlers stumbles into the reverend's tent & confesses that he wants to turn from his wicked ways & repent & asks what he should do to be saved. and the reverend, looks up & in this infamous speech says...
"do you really want to believe in this god? let me tell you a story. way back when, the devil [tied] god's arms & legs. and then plucked his eyes out & [gaged] him. but god could still hear us. he couldn't do anything to help us out of our misery but he could still hear us writhe & scream to the heavens. and so that is why we pray. because although god has no arms or legs for which to reach us, no eyes to see us or voice to speak to us, he has ears to hear our immense misery. now, do you really want to believe in this god?"
it was quite a shocking scene really. needless to say, that poor lost settler did not get saved that night. but i just couldn't get that monologue out of my head. i think because its sometimes the temptation i face in the midst of challenges. i can see Him as someone stationary, indifferent to my plight. or if i see Him as benevolent & loving, He certainly isn't passionate enough to move on my behalf in tangible ways. that because He isn't ending all suffering everywhere, He isn't interested in ending mine. and although i have some thoughts on suffering & the goodness of God that i've gleaned along the way, i don't think any thing could quite change our minds more than God standing up for Himself. we talk every Sunday about God's arms & legs & voice but until you've tangibly seen & touched His hands, looked into those eyes burning for you... we'll that's a completely different, undeniable experience.
so if you find yourself in a lonely place, surrounded by the darkness of circumstance, i dare you to invite the God of mighty arms & legs of bronze & thunderous voice & passionate gaze into your situation.
because it's either meeting the all powerful, fully functioning, eternally passionate God or being content with a god who only has ears to hear our futility. and i think we can both agree that the former is were the heart longs to believe.