Saturday, February 10, 2007

Be More Human. Don't be a Floater.

I've been a floating Spirit. It sucks. My face buried in a bible, my body buried in the activities of the Church and my mind so preoccupied with heaven and how perfect I need to be that I don't do a damn bit of good on this Earth. It's weird how we can "feel" so spiritual but at the same time can't relate to a fellow believer, not to mention a fellow sinner. I think this comes from a false idea of what it means to be a Saint.

Saints aren't those lofty glowing figures painted on murals and on high ceilings. These figures that always seem to say the right thing for the right occasion and have the perfect judgment to pass upon the poor lowly sinners around them. His or her words are filled with the most edifying clich├ęs, fitting the situation with the most devastating obviousness that it ruins the very thought of further dialogue. You know what I'm talking about...

Sinner: "Man, I really struggle with this sin..."

Floater: "Well you just need to put your trust in Jesus and it'll all be alright..."

Sinner: "Yeah.... (Awkward silence)"

Floater: "Well, do you know the Lord?"

Sinner: "Well, I thought I did until just now..."

This is the Saint in his most useless form. He's a floater, and the pun is very much intended. He doesn't stand a chance of feeling the slightest bit humanity or empathy. After all, isn't the formula for being Spiritual to deny our humanity? Is not Nature and Grace diametrically opposed?

Let me pause to answer this very clear, not just no but H-E double hockey sticks NO.

Before one can be a Saint, he must be a man or woman. Grace builds upon our nature and heals it, it doesn't destroy it. Not only where all the saints perfectly human, not only did their holiness enrich their humanity, but the Holiest of all the Saints, the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, was himself the most deeply and perfectly human being who ever lived on the face of the earth.

If we are to be perfect as Christ is perfect, we must strive to be perfectly human as he was, not just Spiritually perfect, in order that he may unite us with his WHOLE divine being and share with us his FULL sonship of the heavenly Father.

Being a Saint is not a matter of being LESS human, but a matter of being MORE human. It means having a greater capacity for compassion, humility, concern, suffering, but it also implies having a greater capacity for laughter, joy, understanding, passion, Love, and a sense of wonder for the beautiful things in life.

Jesus wasn't some lofty guy roaming around from city to city with an otherworldly gaze in his eye. I hate those movies. No, when he looked at you it would have gone straight to the core of not only you, but of Himself; a warmth of kindness and friendship that was and is irresistible. This is why his disciples would have given their lives for him and eventually did. This is why the spoke of him with not only reverence as Lord and God but with the tenderness of remembering the best friend that a man could ever have. One who you would never want to leave because it would break your heart. In America friendship has been nearly ruined. Men are afraid to have a close friend because everyone will think they are a homosexual. This is very sad. We have forgotten how powerful true friendship is. David and Jonathan wept bitterly at their parting. The disciples felt this, and Jesus did to at the tomb of Lazarus. We don't know how to be friends anymore, and this is tragic. A true friendship is eternal. It is the glimpse of our lives in heaven.

We need to be more. Flush the floater concept. Someday heaven will be filled with men, women and our older and mightier brethren the Angels. The greatest moments of Joy now, those times when you are laughing with your family and friends and briefly forget all the cares of the world, are mere glimpses of that future joy. That joy and 'feeling' life starts now. So, get your head out of the bible and engage. Take a look at your flesh, your passions and know that God has created them and that Holiness will come through the Spirit working in that flesh by the inner-working of Him in your "inner-being" so that the healing is done by the active Love itself, (i.e. you loving others and yourself) instead of your futile attempts at a violent suppression of your passions.

As Thomas Merton says so beautifully-

"Grace builds on nature not by suppressing instinct, but by healing and elevating it to a spiritual level."

And Jesus said it the best:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."


Seth Ward said...

This was very long and incredibly spiritual. I am spiritual. Be more like me.

Douglas_Coombs said...

"A true friendship is eternal. It is the glimpse of our lives in heaven."

Just that line is worth reading the entire post.

Douglas_Coombs said...

thanks for the reminder

Susanne said...

Great reminder. I've been convicted lately that I need to just get out there and "do" something! I keep making excuses and saying I'll do it later, but our time on this earth is so short. I'd better get busy!

Baca's Head said...

Right on brotha.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Great words. I think you are exactly right.