Thursday, December 11, 2014


“Godric” would probably not appeal to those who have the Gospel held tightly in some sort of mental grip with no liberty given unto possibility. This particular work of fiction by Frederick Buechner sets our faith in medieval times, expressing one man’s journey as indeed it might have been, influenced by the world that then was and a Church that yet had much to settle in so far as “Christ in me”. The story intrigues me, offering here and there fragments of truth as I have found it to be in my own life, one such moment being the main character’s definition of prayer. He puts it in terms of accomplishing it much the same way as he “breathes, for else his heart would wither within his chest, else waves would dash him on the rocks or he would drift with witless tides”. He then declares immediately after “and sometimes, by God’s grace, his words are heard”; and that… gives me pause. I do find myself accepting that latter statement, if only in the sense of a believer not always (as they used to say in Old-time Holiness) “praying through”. Too often in this, maybe for multiple reasons, “connection” can avoid us or even be abandoned, the whole attempt often interrupted by some sudden urgency. It’s also true, it seems to me, that many just do not enter into it with expectation of any sort of tangible form of assurance, having been taught this all is merely a matter of how well we submit ourselves to “faith”. Without at least occasional success marked by the gulf between our spirit and His having been spanned, we are left with Jesus on the Cross, his mission unfulfilled, our salvation not retracted, but certainly hindered in as much as our having any real confirmation of that which we hold to be true. That’s why I was pleased to discover, a bit further along in this book, this same individual sharing an experience that, in passing through it, he realizes “When I deserved it least, God gave me most”. So it is. Relationship with Him is not based on how well we eliminate our humanity, but on whether we are willing to surrender it unto Him as we go……

No comments:

Post a Comment