07 November 2011

O simple thing, where have you gone?

Tonight I found myself with comparatively little homework, and the same forecast for the week ahead in school. At loss for stress, I dimmed the lights in my room, turned on some classical music, and sat on my bed by the window and leisurely read a book I picked up from the library. I noticed some pitter-pattering on the window, and I decided to open it up a little and stick my head out. A light fog had encompassed the trees, and small brushes of rain brushed my hair. Out in the distance was a pink and gray sky, appearing ominous yet hopeful.
I remember the last distinct time I saw such a sky was my first year in academy. My roommate and I couldn't sleep, and I rolled up our window blinds and we saw a strangely lit sky at a late time in what was supposed to be a dark night, though foggy and mysterious.
"It's as if something's going to happen," I observed.
"Like Jesus is going to come?" he asked.
— ✈ —
I was reading this evening  from Madeleine L'Engle's Penguins & Golden Calves: Icons and Idols. It is a wonderful, delightful read on her simple approach to theology, exposing the beauty in mere Christianity. One of the themes of her book is the need for Christianity to return to simple faith. She shares the story of a friend of hers who comforts a boy living in neglected circumstances, his parents always drunk and fighting. "I'm going to send a special prayer for you," her friend says to the boy. "I'm going to ask for four guardian angels, one to stand at each corner of your bed. They will watch over you and keep you safe, and their love will enclose you." The boy comes back the next morning, and when her friend asks how he slept, the boy replies, "I think we can cut down on the angel guard. The flapping of their wings kept me awake."
"We lose that wondrous ability to believe," Madeleine writes, "in the inestimable power of love as we grow older and learn, often in brutal ways, that many people are unloving indeed, a realization which makes us question God's love."

There was a Week of Prayer speaker I heard who admonished the belittling of faith.
He asked, When we're driving in the city and we see a funeral going on, and there are all these people mourning in slow procession - why is it that we don't have the sudden urge to get out of the car, open up the casket, and say "In the name of Jesus, arise!"?

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a teacher I highly regard. I was working on a report on Adventist Education, and I asked him something about where we might have gone astray. We have as a people of faith diminished the expectations of our faith, and the theology we teach in the classroom doesn't reflect our actions in reality; we resist the work of the Spirit of God. If God were to send an angel down to the room of a student, delivering a message that the student was to share with the school, we wouldn't believe that student. That, my teacher said, is our problem today in our education. When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith upon the earth?

Berrien Springs, Michigan

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