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Turning Away

March 17, 2008

Between our Lenten emphasis on repentance (including our exposure to some withering parables (along with a withered fig tree)) and my current reading project and it’s gentle emphasis on the judgment and justice of God, I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff that I’d rather not think a lot about. In my reaction against the surety and judgmentalism of the religion of my youth, I’d love to gloss over these clear calls to be and bring justice to this world, both as individuals and communities. And then there’s my buddy Croghan, who is laying down some serious smack on his blog. Everyone is right, of course, and that’s what stings.

During our discussion at our church gathering yesterday, The Wife made a comparison between our response to this kind of stern stuff and our daughter, whose newest behavior is to very subtly ignore our requests and directives by very gently closing her eyes and turning her head slightly to one side. In this way, she apparently believes that she has avoided our suggestions or inquiries, thereby absolving herself from any responsibility. It’s not barefaced rebellion– in fact, it’s rather cute (or at least it is when she’s doing it to The Wife)– but it’s certainly not the response that will benefit her in the long run.

I’ve been thinking about her avoidance, and about the human tendency to make God in our own image. And I realize that there are parts of what I say that I believe that I’d rather ignore. Not in a scowling, angry way, but with a gentle denial of the truth. Maybe if I hum another tune (or write about it on my blog), it’ll just go away.

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