Getting Back to Outside-of-Spacetime Normal

 

“Elsewhere on the Las Vegas Strip, things appeared to go back to normal quite quickly.”  -Quote from a Oct. 4th, 2017 Daily Mail post

 

“I am please asking your prayers for the late 13 year old J— T—— and for his family and friends. J—, a neighbor of ours passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, Oct. 3rd. J— was a smart, kind young man. He went through a lot of pain in his short life. May J— be surrounded with God’s unconditional love and may God lift J—’s family and friends up at this time. Give them peace, comfort, and spiritual healing over the loss of their family member and friend.”

-a recent prayer request from a church’s prayer email list

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Whether be it hurricanes, floods, tornados, mass killings, local armed robberies (my town) and the loss of a child, there are life-events that seem to come out of nowhere. And, they are beyond our control. There are also cause-and-effect circumstances that follow from our own actions. These consequences often situate us in a place beyond our control. After any such occurrences, whether thrust upon us or resultant, it becomes clear to us that there is no going back to before. One passes through an event horizon* after which things will never be the same.

Those in the world who experience any of the above will likely face the situation initially with shock, hurt and outrage and then, as some time passes, turn to a “let’s return to normal” Epicurean palliative mind set -“the show must go on”. Later, they may turn off their feelings altogether within a Stoic apathy, especially if life-events ‘pile’ up. The cycle of indifference then ‘piles’ up until “action must be taken”.

After a horrific event most will seek a motive when great harm is done to others. They will ask “Why?” because they want to discover the means to stop all pain in this life, pain which so often comes home with them. A Christian will view the events from a Kingdom of God perspective, one which is Outside of Spacetime Normal.

“I am persuaded, you see, that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor the present, nor the future, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in King Jesus our Lord.” -Paul’s letter to the Roman church, 8: 38-39

Those of us who call Jesus “Lord” are being conformed to the image of the Alpha and Omega, the One who is outside of spacetime ‘normal’. As such, we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) and are summoned to do the work of a priest – stand between heaven and earth and intercede for the world. We are to take the hurt, the pain, the sufferings and the groanings of the world and bring it to the Father and to do so without ceasing.

Maybe you have witnessed the following in your spirit. I have come to understand, after 55 years of a relationship with the Lord, that the Holy Spirit is constantly in conversation with the Father and the Son through me. The Spirit is constantly interceding. I am made continually aware of those around me. I lift them to the Lord. In my spirit I hear the cries of thousands who are hurting. When I see news reports of disasters – natural and manmade – I pray in the Spirit. Most times I do not have words. The Spirit, helping me in my weakness, prays through my very limited understanding.

“…the spirt comes alongside and helps us in our weakness. We don’t know what to pray for as we ought to; but the same spirit pleads on our behalf, with groanings too deep for words. And, the Searcher of Hearts knows what the spirit is thinking, because the spirit pleads for God’s people according to God’s will.”  -Paul’s letter to the Roman church, 8: 26-27

For some, prayers begin with a “Why?” and end up with “How could you let this happen?”

For followers of Jesus our often-wordless intercessions begin with, “How long, Sovereign Lord Jesus?” and end with “Come Lord Jesus. Maranatha.”

 

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*event horizon is a boundary in spacetime, the shell of “points of no return”. Nothing inside the event horizon can ever cross the boundary and escape beyond it, including light. Nothing that enters a black hole can get out or can be observed from outside the event horizon.

Take “The Shack” Out Back

 

(And yes, I know that each century since Christ, artists have rendered each person of the Trinity. For the most part they have done so being faithful to a Scriptural rendering of the Trinity, e.g., The Father as a voice coming from a cloud; the Holy Spirit as a dove or as wind. Artists portray their subjects through their worldview, hence there are Italian looking depictions of Jesus and of those around him., e.g., the paintings of Caravaggio.)

I do not want to read or see the Shack. I do not want those images in my mind when I think of the Trinity. Besides, there are no images of Jesus’ physical appearance. This, to me, reinforces the notion that Jesus came to show us the invisible God: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Col. 1:15. So, what has been passed down to us about Jesus? His appearance or His words and actions which represent the Father? His appearance or His words and actions which represent true humanity?

Another reason I avoid The Shack: I have lived with loss. I lost a child. I have suffered other losses. A deeper understanding of Jesus came out of each loss. Each loss is unique. Each growth experience is unique. I learned about God as I turned to Jesus. The Shack would add nothing to what I have gained and would likely diminish that knowledge by its lack of reverence.

As best as I can tell, The Shack is not allegorical. Its disturbing ‘symbology’ of the Trinity is portrayed by three ready-made culturally ‘approved’ characters who are not unlike the emotionally ravenous people reading and watching. We are shown reality TV characters who portray a “diversity” promoting God, a God who would otherwise be irrelevant to modern sensitivities. I am not surprised that the ‘patriarchal looking Morgan Freeman was not used in The Shack. Instead, the goddess of feminism was served by an African-America woman who ‘manifests’ as God the Father (The Sugar Shack is so much more palatable for angry women). The Shack is a post-modernist’s collage of drippy feelings for the Age of Feelings. Title (and subtitle): “the house you build out of your own pain (and using your own fashioned gods).

Finally, I’d rather take in good fiction. Movies are, at best, vicarious roller coaster rides edited and enhanced to titillate. So, instead of ‘meditating’ on sentimental cultural iconography which does more harm than good, as in dumbing down ergo popularizing (a best seller) ergo offering schmaltzy messaging about God and evil, I’ll read The Brothers Karamazov…

“The Problem of Evil” by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Paper: “The Problem of Evil” by Fyodor Dostoevsky