On being a crazy person
July 18, 2012
Sometimes I look at my life and what I believe in and think I must be crazy. I put myself in the shoes of my parents or other non-Christian friends and find myself agreeing with them. Christians are nuts. I mean, I believe in a mysterious, intangible Presence in my life that I attribute to be God, yet I do not always sense Him. I don’t really hear His audible voice (because we Christians like to say we’ve heard His voice even though it sounds more like us telling ourselves a sudden piece of wisdom or and indistinguishable “voice” or just an unexplainable enlightenment, or something), I don’t know what His face looks like (although I’d imagine a lot of brightness, judging from Moses… and we only have approximate guesses as to what Jesus looks like), I don’t know what it is like to touch Him, yet I just know when He talks to me. I just know it when He says He wants me to go this way, or that way. How do I know? I don’t know, I just know! Insert Bible verse about how we are made with a spirit and so can sense God.
I believe in speaking in tongues (I actually speak it! It’s this awesome God-given thing where you sound like you’re talking gibberish although sometimes you do end up speaking another language… and no you can’t really control it, it just flows out of you like an unstoppable babble… no I don’t always know what I’m actually saying… but it’s from God!) , I believe in medicine-defying healing, I believe in visions and prophecies, I believe that He created the world and that He can turn your life around and that He loves you and me. Yet I don’t understand most of Him. I don’t know why so many people died in Cyclone Nargis in 2008. I don’t know why the Rwandans who hid in churches during the 1994 genocide were shot up in the church itself. I don’t know how He saw it and didn’t swoop in and stop the murderers in their tracks. I don’t know why sometimes even when you pray, people die anyway.
Yet, I choose to live by faith. Yet it’s enough for me to live by faith. And God is real enough to me that I have chosen to live my life for Him. My entire life – having Him have control over my future job or my future spouse or which country I move to and all that – is surrendered to Him. Not only that, but having Him be the purpose for which I live. To have the reason I live be for His glory, to have my every breath speak of His grace.
I am crazy. No wonder my dad thinks I’m foolish. I would too, if I were him. Insert Bible verse about being a fool in the world’s eyes when you choose Christ.
But then I think about all that He has done for me. He was there when my family was falling apart, and I was an angry, bitter mess (read: one hot mess). His very presence was enough for me to hold on to life throughout all these years. He saw me through my relationships with people I should not have been having relationships with. He softened my heart and made me a better person. He gave me awesome pillars of strength. He brought me to Tufts against all odds. He has been the best friend I could have ever had.
He sees me when I wake up, when I go to bed, and in the middle of the night, when I am feeling the loneliest or when I cry. He sees me at my absolute worst. And when I say thank you, he says, “my pleasure.”
Then I think… hey, maybe I’m not so crazy after all. Maybe this is the only thing that actually makes sense.