Saturday, 28 September 2013
"Dear God, I Really F'd Up!"
This needs to be said at the beginning. No. I have not lost it. And, no, I am not losing it. But, before I get into what brought me to that title, I'll share a few quotes that have made an impression on me.
"I don't do performance poetry, so the words matter." - Elka, poet
"I may already be dead, just not typed." - Harold Crick, Stranger Than Fiction
"He wooed her with words and he won her. He had nothing but words to woo her." - Lorna Goodison, poet
"Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words." - C.S. Lewis
Words work. Use them. That's a belief I have long held. So much so, I started a blog in about 2004 under that title. But, I did not maintain it. It had not started "hurting bad enough" yet. I like expressing myself in writing. I like to read and widen my vocabulary. I like to meet upon new words and spend the next day working them into sentences. I have a Dictionary app on my phone and the web site is saved in my favourites. Of course, I do consult other sources, but, for a quick go to, it serves the purpose. I suppose it's every writer's or communicator's dream to use the right words at the right time.
Ahh yes. I do have a love for words. Remember that scene in Patch Adams where the elderly woman had the fantasy about being immersed in a pool of spaghetti? That's me. Except, it's not spaghetti - or food of any kind. It's words. I have a fantasy about being immersed in a pool of words. How that would work, or look, exactly, I am not quite sure. Not thinking alphabet soupish, though. No. The words wouldn't be in a liquid. The words would be the liquid; have sufficient molecular density and create the buoyancy needed. And, every so often, I'd string just the right ones together to make the perfect sentence. Then, one perfect sentence after another...
I've experienced the discomfort and comfort of certain words and terms. Words intrigue me as they strut their denotative and connotative meanings. But, they do not scare me. I do understand that given different contexts such as cultural and social ones, the use of certain words - and the words themselves - may carry particular connotations, subliminal messages, subtexts, and the like. Certainly, if I am not around to explain why I used a particular word weighted with a generally-accepted meaning, it would be interpreted using that meaning. My decision not to use a particular word in a piece of writing, as much as I believe it would hit the nail on the head, stems from that consciousness: Would my use of the word signal a shift in conviction or belief? That sort of thing. Given my broughtupsy in a Christian home and as a result of my own Christian walk, there are words that I do not use. It's funny, really. Not funny haha but funny peculiar. The two things I am most passionate about - my walk with Christ, and my writing - have never had me conflicted. Perhaps that is because I see the one - the writing - as a medium for the more-important other. What has caused some angst, though, is whether I have been brave enough to say what may be unpopular, but what I feel a conviction to say.
That brings me to the title. I love - as in, love - the fact that I can go to God about anything. I pray to Him about any and everything. The other day, someone hurt me. Bad. I went to God in tears. I was angry and I was sad. After weeks had passed, with nothing near forgiveness yet in my heart, I contacted that person. In short, I received what I referred to as a template apology. Y'know the kind that says stteo: "I'm sorry I offended you..." More time passed. I contacted again. This time, my language was stronger as I said how I really felt. I referred to the half-assed apology and went on about how what was done was unbelievable, especially given...everything! Then came the interruption, "I f'd up, and I'm sorry." Well, y'know, I cried. I had to pull into a parking spot - and I cried. Of course, my friends know I do not use that kind of language. But, I accepted it and, dare I say, appreciated the honesty of it very much. It touched me. The choice of word meant that he meant it. And, I knew that that was the sincere apology.
It came to me sometime after, that a person who comes to God desperately seeking His help; to be rescued by Him, and pleads, in brokenness, "Oh God, I f'd up, and I'm sorry," does not turn God off one bit. I believe that if God sees the heart - and He does - He does not recoil from the word, but draws that person closer because of the heart. I believe that, in time, in a new walk with Christ - and with the understanding of the social or cultural or whatever other -al connotation attached - the individual will come to express himself in other words. Yes, God is holy. And, I'm not saying we should all come telling God 'the f word' left right and centre. But, you get what I mean. Plus, English is just one language. People the world over pray to Him in hundreds of other languages. There are many other heartfelt taboo words and expressions in many other languages and He is afraid of none. Anyway, you catch my drift.
I have a similar feeling about Christians who express their grief on losing a loved one. Years ago, a lady I knew lost her only son in a vehicular accident. It tore her up. Another lady, this one I knew to be a Christian, lost her son after someone shot him. She became angry with God. Grief-stricken, she questioned His goodness; how could He have taken her son? How could He have allowed this? I understand that some persons - including Christians - will say that that is not an appropriate reaction. But, I believe that God is not frightened by our grief. He can see it coming. And, surely, different persons handle grief in different ways. But, for someone who directs her anger to God, He must see it coming, doesn't He? He does not recoil from her harsh words, does He? I believe that as she turns to Him with tears streaming, nose snot running, chest heaving in sobs and hands flailing as she thumps His chest with "How could You?! How could You?!" that He leans in to her and puts His arm around her and, yes, maybe even cries with her. Then, as she weakens under the burden of grief, and becomes too drained to fight, He scoops her up in His arms and carries her.
I am thankful that God sees the heart. And, His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. Just sayin'.