Do you ever get tired of those? The Pat Answer Preachers* and their followers? It’s right up there with the Power of Positive Thought people and the Worship Chorus for Every Occasion Folks.
Sometimes life is just rotten. Sometimes there are no perfect answers. Sometimes you really do have the flu.
I had a friend tell me once that sometimes the most we can do for someone who is struggling is just to shut up! But we still think we need to have all the answers, every bible verse, we are compelled to make a solution happen, don’t we. We think we must anoint with oil, lay hands upon and cluster around. And what’s with the folks who insist on giving the Holy Spirit back massage while praying. I have always wanted to say, “Oh, can you work out that spot right between the spine and my shoulder blade?” Can you imagine? I know, how un-spiritual of me.
Is the obvious need always the Real Need? Maybe she did break her arm. Do we pray for the healing of the bone or the healing of the heart when we find out he broke it for her. Can we, will we be concerned enough for her and quiet enough and involved enough in her life to find out she is being abused? Or do we give a band-aid for a severed artery and walk away feeling smug and pleased about our Good Deed.
Busy Believers. Always talking and not really listening. Always Doing and not really Helping.
What is that anyway? I mean, seriously. I have a temp of 102, flourescent green snot and when I stand up the world tilts sideways. But no, no, NO! I can’t ADMIT to having a viral something or other. I must keep the Faith and only say positive things! Claim my healing! Speak out the words… Because the words are what changes things, right? Tell that to the little one with cancer or the 84 year old wife who changes her husbands diapers. If only they had more faith…
Bob* lives here in town. Five years ago his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer her Christian family descended upon their home to name and claim. But as they spoke “prophecies” and “words of knowledge” about healing G-d chose not to heal her. They said all the right words and prayed all the right prayers but they still didn’t get their
Mercedes, ahem, healing. And Bob’s wife died, painfully, leaving him and his two children behind. Thanks to the Ministry of the Family, this man is now convinced that Christianity is just so much bullshit. We had started a relationship with him, been given a few opportunities to talk to him about the Lord and now he shuts us out completely. We are one of Them.
Bob didn’t need a pat answer. He didn’t need a positive thought. He needed true Hope. The kind that transcends circumstances and points toward eternity and a faithful Father who is waiting in a place beyond pain and heartache. Instead, he found snake oil and false promises.
Despite what seems to be popular opinion, we aren’t given all the Right Answers, we are only given access to the One who has the Answers.
When my friend Karrie miscarried for the 8th time we sat on the couch and cried together. And I had no words. I couldn’t pray with her, she didn’t want me to “anoint her womb” (she’d already experienced that) and so we sat on her couch and cried.
iYou know, It rains on the Just and the Unjust. It really does. How many times have I found faiths more intrinsically tied to how I walk through a valley than my desperation to find a way out of the valley.
Life has given me very few easy answers. For every obvious answer there are 15 reasons showing how difficult it is to Live It Out. Why are there so many people trying for easy instead of faithful?