By: Gabriela Yareliz
These are some of the quotes that have been spinning through my mind, these days:
“We have a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws,” Martin Luther King, Jr. once said. These days, I wonder what that looks like and what that would mean exactly. I am currently reading Eric Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer, someone who pushed at the lines and limits of everything that was held to be correct and moral according to the ethics and political delusion of his time and was godly despite his law breaking. As things get weirder and more absurd, at the risk of sounding like Carrie Bradshaw, I can’t help but wonder… what it is that is required of us. As most everything in life, there is no set recipe or set of instructions, just guiding principles and a daily renewing relationship with an all-knowing and all-caring God who has never failed us and never will. (This is probably the only paragraph in the world to have Bonhoeffer and Carrie Bradshaw mentioned together— take note).
Muriel Strode said, “I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.” This made me think of Pilgrim’s Progress, which I revisted in film version, recently. If there was anything that stood out to me in the film it was the fact that the narrow path to obedience to God is such a narrow one. Narrower than we think. There is something at every corner to derail us, if we aren’t careful to keep our focus. I know that these days there is so much philosophy that pushes manifestation, abundance, and the fulfillment of our capriciousness as some kind of confirmation of a life well-lived. Yet, in John Bunyan’s classic, what we see is that the path was difficult and required focus the whole way through. The things our society prizes require a degree of worldliness for appreciation that more often than not derails us from our truest mission.
In recent interactions, I have felt convicted that so much of our focus in general as Christians is set on frivolity. We must reach the deeper level and fix our eyes on the light. As Bunyan wrote, there is an urgency with which we travel, and there is help that is always near. We never walk alone.
The path is so difficult it sometimes feels as if there is none, and we are hacking our way through with a machete. The trail we leave allows others to embark on their own journey toward what is promised.
“In this universe we are given two gifts: the ability to love, and the ability to ask questions. Which are, at the same time, the fires that warm us and the fires that scorch us.” Mary Oliver, Winter Hours
As I sit here and write, I have more questions than answers. (It would be arrogant to think otherwise). Both seem intertwined, love and questions. If one simply doesn’t care, one doesn’t ask. There are few things that make much sense anymore. I think there is a general feeling of disorientation and surroundings feel distorted behind a fog of illusions. It’s like that line from The Swan Princess: Not everything is as it seems.
There has been a trauma inflicted on the body and human spirit. We are struggling to make sense of it. We are struggling to heal from it.
Maybe there is a reason we don’t get many answers. Maybe they wouldn’t help. In recent times, many have discovered that the truth is weighty. Odd how something can hang heavy enough in your heart to anchor it but at the same time, set you free.
“We were too embedded in a lifestyle that meant we were always moving. Sometimes it really is good to just stand still.” Graham, Clanlands, pg 285
I read recently a thought by Bonnie Gray that said something along the lines of, Ps. 46:10 says, “Be still and know.” Our knowing depends on our stillness. I had never thought of it that way. For many of us that think there is some incentive to always be moving, or as Riley from So Little Time would say, “Always be closing,” while clapping– there is a huge incentive to pause and be still. Maybe, we could try that and see what happens.
And this one, which speaks for itself by Bianca Serratore:
“There are times God will have you say or do things that may cause your flesh immense discomfort. It will be out of the ordinary, and it won’t seem normal to the world. It will rip you right out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. Good, keep going. I’ve seen the most spectacular testimonies come from those moments. That’s exactly where God moves. You were never made for normal.”
Stay inspired. xx