Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Come Heal With Me

Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord They God in Vain

Notes from the Book, God's Psychiatry:

What a person thinks about determines what he is.

The secret desires of our hearts eventually show up in our very appearance.

A man is what he thinks about all day long.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our life is what our thoughts make of it.
Marcus Aurelius

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Proverbs 23:7

Mother's Note in the Margins: Where are you Adam?

My notes: As I read the chapter titled "Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord in Vain," I grew confused. I flipped back and forth from the text to the title, back to the text. What, I wondered, did my thinking patterns have to do with taking God's name in vain?

Growing up, I'd always heard that saying "Godda**" was the ultimate sin. "God cannot damn," some teacher once told me. But the more I thought about it, the more it didn't make total sense to me. At the end of the book, it seems to me, God pronounces judgment, bringing some into glory with Him and condemning others to a life of "weeping and gnashing of teeth."

When I was a little girl, I dreamed that God could be seen high and lifted up, high above the whole world. There, standing in the front yard of my childhood home, I stood, looking up...looking at God. And, the whole world stood there with me (how we all got on that property, I'll never know.)

God was ready to pronounce judgment on the whole earth, on all mankind. He said, "I will separate the earth. Those on the right will come to heaven with me. Those on the left will go to hell with the devil."

The earth began to split, from just under the Almighty all the way down...toward me. I watched as some fell to the right, others to the left, and some fell into the great crevice. Just as the line approached me, I tried to judge it. To mark the timing. As it reached my feet, I reckoned, I would leap to the right.

But instead, I fell to the left.

I was going to hell??? This could not be right.

I looked up at God. "Can we have a do-over?" I asked.

And God granted it. Again, I positioned myself, ready for the great crack to come toward me, ready to jump to the right.

And again, I fell to the left. I looked up in horror. As I did, God said to me, "Eva Marie, this is just a dream. Mankind has been given chances time and again. But one day, the chances will run out."

Then I awoke.

I spent the rest of my childhood trying never to say a bad word (I was reared by parents who never cussed) and certainly not to commit the "unpardonable sin" as I knew it to be. But now I understand something even more: when we hold something in high esteem, we do not "take its name in vain." We honor it, both with our thoughts, our words, and by our relationship with it.

I. Love. God. Period.

I adore Him. Cherish Him. Worship Him. But do I ever take his name in vain?

Yes. Every time I get angry and say anything that would disgrace Him or my relationship with Him. Every time I don't take our relationship seriously and our time together seriously.

Mother wrote, "Where are you Adam?" God knew exactly where Adam and Eve were hiding. What He was asking was, "Where are you and I in this relationship, Adam?"

When we grieve, as I have grieved this past year--both for Mother and the other things I have lost (as this has been a year of loss)--I have both run to God and run from Him. Angry. Bitter. How could you? How could you have taken her...or her...or her...or it from me? Haven't I been a good daughter? Haven't I tried to live on the 'right' side of the crevice?

I took my eyes off the One I love and put them on my circumstances.

Don't get me wrong. It's okay to cry (even Jesus cried at the death of Lazarus). To be angry. To question WHY??? But in doing so, we should...we must...keep our eyes on Him. Become more like Him.

To live on the right side of the crevice.