I’ve been ill again. I don’t say that to evoke your sympathy. It’s not a life-threatening illness. At least, I don’t think it is. Asthmatic bronchitis is not uncommon and there are any number of effective treatments for it.
Feeling better today, I told the Lovely Lady I think I’ll live. Immediately, I remembered what the ultimate end of all mankind will be, and I added the phrase at least, until I die.
She was not amused. Of course, she needs me well, so she can get back to her regular work schedule of only sixty hours a week. I have left her in the lurch. She’s not amused–I’m not happy.
I’m going to admit something I may regret later. While I understand that my illness is quite treatable and am even now waiting for medication to effect its curative function, I confess that I get a little discouraged (and maybe a little angry) while I’m waiting.
In the dark and by myself, I feel helpless. You see, I’ve prayed that I’ll be free from this particular thorn in the flesh on numerous occasions over the years, but still it knocks me down periodically.
I wonder why God doesn’t hear me.
Where are you God?
I would have shouted the words, had I the breath to do so today, but satisfied myself with whimpering them plaintively toward the ceiling in the den.
There was no answer.
He’s not here, is He?
I asked myself the question and then shuddered at the implications.
Pushing up from my recliner, I went up the steps to the dining room. The result was the same there. Nothing. Living Room–Kitchen? Still nothing.
It’s a beautiful home, even if it is small. Surely, God would want to live in such an attractive abode. But, I’m pretty sure I never heard Him answer from the walls of any of those rooms.
I went back to my chair and flopped down, gasping a little.
Disappointed, I sat for a moment. Only a moment. It seemed to be just a little brighter in the room as I considered the glimmer of truth which was gradually coming to my consciousness.
Not too many years ago I went to an event, described as a house blessing, for some close friends. Their denomination allows for such things, reading scripture, then blessing each room in turn, before calling for God’s presence in the home. I expected to feel different when I left. I didn’t.
I remember thinking that’s not how it works.
I also remember some friends on the other end of the spectrum of faith who had someone come in and do a service to cast out the evil spirits from their home. The assumption was, again, that God would come and fill that space, recently vacated by the bad things.
I wasn’t there. I’m not going to get into an argument about exorcism, nor even about blessing houses.
I just know what is truth. Straight from Him.
God doesn’t live in buildings. Why would he want to inhabit dead, inanimate things made of brick, and wood, and steel?
Ah. Now you know what that glimmer bursting into flame earlier was, don’t you?
God lives in His people. Weak–strong. Old–young. Women–men.
Inside this weak, sick man, gasping for breath on a warm, summer day, the Creator has taken up His abode.
Inside the old man down the street from me, overtaken by blindness, God sees clearly exactly what he needs.
In the soul of my friend, awaiting word from her oncologist giving her the bad/good news about the result of her latest PET scan, He is not surprised nor panicked. He sees all paths and knows all ends.
And, He lives inside of us.
Do you think He doesn’t feel the despair?
Do you assume He doesn’t understand my anger?
Do you suppose He doesn’t hear the frightened petitions?
He lives in us!
So. I’m done yelling at the ceiling.
Now, I begin to understand that song we used to sing when we were children. Maybe it’s time to whisper our prayers to Him again.
Just a whisper.
Inside voice will work just fine.
Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.
(from Mere Christianity ~ C.S. Lewis ~ Irish born teacher/author ~ 1898-1963)
Whisper a prayer in the morning.
Whisper a prayer at noon.
Whisper a prayer in the evening,
To keep your heart in tune.
Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands…
(Acts 7:48a ~ ESV)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved.