Kingdom maths

Apologies for the radio silence – I’m aware it’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged.  I’ve been going through somewhat of a faith crisis, and when at least half your blog is about faith, it tends to diminish the available subject matter somewhat!  I could write about feminism, but since my faith and my feminism are inextricably linked, it’s been a little challenging.

Why the faith crisis?  A million reasons really.  Deaths of people particularly beloved and important to me, especially one lady who was a real mentor in the faith.  The much denied but very present fall out of two miscarriages in eight months.  The exhaustion brought on by lack of sleep and particularly unpleasant food intolerances and upsets – which sounds ridiculous, but can get pretty wearing when you’re ill almost every day.  Worry and fear for several loved ones going through their own special brand of hell.  The list goes on.

It’s improved past the point of disbelief.  There was a point a month or so when I sat in my vicar’s study and couldn’t quite see how I would ever come back to faith again.  It – the various its – were far too BIG, and God seemed like some kind of fatuous invention designed to make the masses feel better about the randomness of existence.  I’m not there now.  I do have a faith, but it’s a tired, wary one, that believes in the sheer awesomeness of God – but is somewhat fed up of Good Friday and would like Easter to come.  Now, please.

One of the best things I’ve discovered about attending a more liturgical church is the emphasis on the Eucharist. At St John’s, the Eucharist is the centre of the service on Sundays, and in the spiritual funk I’m currently in, that’s become extremely valuable.

It’s painful too though.  The Eucharist demands that I leave it all behind.  The tears, the fears, the aches, the questions.  I can’t bring them to the table.  All I can bring are my empty hands (and a generous helping of PVA and glitter if I’ve been helping in the Sunday School).  That can hurt.  All my questions, all my sorrow, all my anger – sitting on the pew with my hymnbook.  Just me.

And then I hold my hands out, and I’m given Jesus.  Jesus, vulnerable, broken, agonised.  Jesus as body broken and blood poured out.  Body broken for me.  Blood shed for me.

And osmehow, in Kingdom maths, that makes sense.  His brokenness makes me whole.  His pouring out fills me up.

And I go back to my seat, and I probably try and remove the glitter.  And all those questions and fears and worries and sorrows – they don’t go.  That’s not how it works.  Following the Lord is painful and sacrificial, and we don’t get to leave that stuff behind, because He never did.  He walked right into the mess and brokenness of being human, and He embraced it.

And somehow, because He did, I can.  Because He was broken, I can walk just a little longer.  Because He hurt, and suffered, and struggled, because He cried out to the Father, “why have you forsaken me?” I can stumble on, knowing the end of the story.  Knowing I’m never forsaken.  Knowing that his death brings me life.

It doesn’t add up, Kingdom Maths.  Not sure God’s going to pass His GCSE.  But I’m so bloody glad of it.

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