I still miss Mack so very much. It has been almost two years and I try to imagine how big he would be, what he would be doing now, would he be struggling in school? or be sailing along like his sister at that age. Would he even still like soccer? We simply will never know. Grief goes on, forever before me, like wandering in a desert, in circles.
Today’s morning prayer had a reading from Joel on the Day of the LORD:
Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes. 16 Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17 The seed shrivels under the clods, the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are ruined because the grain has failed. 18 How the animals groan! The herds of cattle wander about because there is no pasture for them; even the flocks of sheep are dazed. 19 To you, O LORD, I cry. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flames have burned all the trees of the field. 20 Even the wild animals cry to you because the watercourses are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
When we are stripped of all that we have, what are we left with? Physically, in a wilderness, you do what it takes to survive, not necessarily compromising your ethics, but eating off of the land, finding water where you can, shelter as you can build it. In our warm homes and offices we buy organic non-GMO foods, warm ourselves and contemplate what furniture to be or music to download. Strip it all away and what have you got?
It is like that with theology, is it not? Take away the comfort of not having any real challenges in life and what remains? What will you find to be “essential,” that you will not compromise? Most of the time we sit comfortably in our theological mansion, built up with rooms of doctrine and theory, debates, and devotionals. But what will there be left when it is all burned to the ground?