Excerpts From a Dark Night
April 13, 2003.
Why are we born so far from home? Why is it so hard to travel on that narrow path and enter that tiny gate?… Sometimes the path is covered by so much debris that it is impossible to decipher where we are to go. I just want to see a little bit of the road. Why do my feet lead me down another path? Have I turned away the light beneath my feet? Am I looking too far ahead rather than the imminent path?… Deliver me from my own shadows… Open my eyes…
April 30, 2003.
Is it only me, God?… Why the distance? How does such a finite being come to “know” you? You know I do not like to speak in the “unreal” and the abstract… Is “knowing” you nothing but a cliche?… People say they are close to You at certain times in their lives, but do they really know what they mean by what they say? Are they not just in a heightened or, dare I say, “enlightened” state?… Are Christians just a special case in which they have certain special knowledge of what they are close to when going through a certain type of mindset? What about unbelievers? Do they not experience the same heightened emotions or times of “self-awareness”?…
June 17, 2003.
What does it mean to trust You?… Am I trusting all Three or in One that equals all Three?… Mature Christians advise me to trust. Almost blindly. Every question I bring ends with “trust Him” or “have faith.” Is this but an infinite resignation? Knowledge of lacking knowledge? Then why don’t they admit it? Just say “I don’t know.” But then what is there to believe? I want and don’t want to be brought to that point. You gave us an intellect above that of the beasts so that we may understand and acknowledge our Creator, Saviour, and Sustainer. Why then, at the same time, are we told to give up that beautiful gift that so few Christians contemplate and admire as a gift.
I found some written prayers among some of my papers a couple days ago. They come from a period at the end of my second year in Bible college. I don’t remember writing these exact prayers, but I recall writing many like this at this time. I had taken some, what I thought were important, questions to my college instructors. Not satisfied with their answers, I asked family and friends. Then some local pastors. And then some theology professors at a seminary in Vancouver. Answers ranged from somber cliches to blatant heresies to half-ass blow-offs. I had already stepped away from my strict conservative fundamentalism and was dabbling with the liberal Emergent church.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that the “Emerging church,” although psychologically healthy and socially conscientious, had very little to do with the original Christian church. I didn’t know how much that mattered. The Scripture itself made it seem like the early church was just as chaotic and screwed up as we are. The apostles were hardly to be trusted with authority, especially if read from Mark’s gospel; and Paul… and Paul… was Paul even a Christian… did Paul even know of Jesus’ teachings? So many questions needed answering – so few answers given with any sort of honesty or integrity. I didn’t chose to study a secular university because I wanted that point of view – I was driven into it. I wonder, should I thank the church for its ignorance?