Monday, September 20, 2010

Picking up the pieces

Last week my friend Dr. Beck recently posted about why he writes his blog. He compared his spiritual life to sorting through rubble in post-Katrina New Orleans. This metaphor resonated with me for obvious reasons. I wrote a long comment and wanted to share it here. I imagine that almost everyone who reads this knows me well and reads my pitiful attempt to put my thoughts together keeps reading only because they are my friend. I am not particularly articulate or profound. I am, generally speaking lost... but hopeful that I will find my way eventually. I have had friends in the past who read my blog and were disheartened, saddened and shaken up by what I had to say. I told them not to read it. They were better off just not knowing the thoughts in my overly analytical head. In any csee, borrowing Dr. Beck's words, "If your faith and doctrine are like a beautiful house, with the clean lines of certainty and the firm foundation of God's Truth, then letting me into your house would be, I'd expect, quite unsettling... See, I had a nice house once. But a hurricane hit it. From a faith perspective I'm in a post-Katrina situation. All I have left is a bunch of rubble... In short, when you read this blog you are watching a person pick through the rubble of his faith, a person trying to find anything useful that has been left behind."

My morning commute is fascinating. I drive from Old Metairie through Mid-City New Orleans to the university I work at in the Gentilly area. Most of my drive is quite picturesque. I drive past the beautiful oak trees in City Park draped with Spanish Moss then I cross over the bayou. Right before I arrive at work I drive through a neighborhood that was severely damaged by Katrina and has yet to fully return. Some houses in the neighborhood are picture perfect with manicured lawns and new roofs. Others are, as you said, nothing more than piles of ruble. Last week one of the abandoned houses in the neighborhood finally collapsed. On Wednesday the house was still leaned to, but on Thursday it was a pile of dust. As I pass though the neighborhood I pray for the families who live there. For the ones who had the strength to come back and the ones who had to cut their losses. I used to drive through neighborhoods like this and feel sick to my stomach. I wondered how long we would have to live with all that rubble, a constant reminder of the day our world fell apart. Now I see the destruction in a new light. Perhaps because I have become more comfortable with my own "spiritual rubble." I know the heartbreak of standing in the rubble, both physically and spiritually, all to well. But over time God has given me hope to heal that brokenheartedbess. So just as I pray for the families in the neighborhood I pray for believers everywhere, the ones who reside in perfectly manicured theological homes, the ones who've abandoned their destroyed home altogether, but especially the ones like Dr. Beck who hold on to hope and try to put the pieces back together. I'm thankful there are people like him, brave enough to share your journey to rebuild his spiritual house with the rest of us. Whatever kind of house you live in, I wish you grace and peace.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I think you sell yourself waaayyy too short. I find you extremely articulate and you always make me think. I enjoy reading your blog, and I just love you...