I’m not a control freak. “No, not much,” the song goes. So yes, this is my signed confession. I want just a little bit more control, to achieve just a little bit more balance. And I can’t have it.
I’m not going to blame anyone but myself and unnamed, um, Forces. Whichever side these “Forces” are on, whoever’s messing my story up, they’re kind of dicks.
Consider two other stories. One is in the entire book of Job, and the other in the book of John. In both, the “good” makes it “right” at the end.
In the book of Job, Job is a rich guy who has money to spare, lots of kids, and a wife he loves. A lot. The story goes, Satan comes trolling through heaven for an audience with God. God draws his attention to Job, teases a little just to piss Satan off, and sends Satan with permission to dick with Job. In our story, Satan is a dick and he’s been given permission to do damage to an innocent man. So Job’s livestock (money) is stolen, and his kids and his servants (let’s assume they were hired) are murdered. Yay. That’s not bad enough so Job gets skin boils. Yay. And his wife says, I’m paraphrasing, “You’re serving a god that isn’t working out so good for you, why don’t you swear off this god and just kill yourself.” Yay. Job is faithful and steadfast. His friends say, “Job, you’re an ass hole. You must have done something bad to really piss off God. You should confess it and ask God to fix it or squash you like the tiny guilty insect you are.” Great friends. Yay.
Job was a helpless “king” in God’s chess game with Satan. He could only do one thing, move one square, and suffer, watching his kids get sacrificed like pawns and his queen turn into a useless hag. And his power? What a joke. He had no more control than the king on a chess board.
In John, the helpless “king” on the chess board is Lazarus. Mary and Martha are his friends, and he’s sick. They send word to Jesus, who according to Luke 7 could have just healed him from where He was. And Jesus was this guy’s friend, but instead of saying, “I’m on my way,” he waited 2 extra days where he was, and it was about a two day journey. The story explains Lazarus was already dead by the time Jesus got word that Lazarus was sick. So Jesus doesn’t really have to be in a hurry, I suppose. What’s a day or two when the guy’s already dead? The answer is, proof that he’s really dead and not “only mostly dead.” Because “only mostly dead” only requires a tiny miracle. Jesus waits until the guy is completely dead.
In the end, Job gets rich again because he knows how to get rich, and his wife lets him have 10 more kids. Cue the happy ending music. But, Oy, vey! Like I would have slept with her ever again after she said all kinds of shit to me. Which is a testament to Job’s enduring and patient love for his wife. I wonder if he kept those shitty friends. Probably. It’s supposed to be a testament to God’s love for Job and Mrs. Job, and Job’s faith in God. But his first 10 kids and his original servants are still dead, which to me still kind of sucks.
In John, Lazarus was really dead. Martha went to confront Jesus because she knew he could have fixed it. Mary didn’t even bother to go. Martha gives Jesus hell (ok, just a little hell, the big hell is coming later in Jesus’ story) and Jesus reassures Martha. Martha knows the Text and believes that at the end she dies and gets to see Lazarus again when they’re all reunited in Heaven. But no, Jesus says, I can fix this, but bring out Mary, so she comes out, broken. And she tells Jesus how unhappy she is. Jesus’ human side sees her grief, and then considers the tomb and foresees his own suffering and death (I conjecture) and he gets a little panic attack, not because he can’t ultimately fix it but because he has to go through the shit. And then he fixes Lazarus, at least temporarily. You all realize Lazarus had to die twice? But in the end, Jesus fixed Lazarus so he got to hang out a few extra years with his friends, cue the happy ending music.
I want my situations to be fixed. Last time I prayed for a guy to be healed, there were a bunch of other, far more faithful, people praying, so he got a few more years after the doctors gave up. And he died. Therefore, I got my answer. He was completely healed. On the other side of death’s door, in heaven, I believe he’s perfectly happy and healthy, better than he ever was on earth. I just want my earthly situation miraculously fixed and not in a way that hurts other people or myself. God can do anything. So I want Him to do something nice. For me. So I can tell people about it. And so I can do nice things for other people.
I’m feeling pretty dead though, having given up any hope that it would ever resolve in any good way for me. Kind of the reason for starting this blog is so I could vent about how much things suck and how I feel like a helpless pawn on the chess board. Not even a king, I never was powerful or rich or influential. I realize “the rain…fall[s] on the just and the unjust.” I realize, I’m unjust, despite your possible opinions of me. But it would be nice if, miraculously, the storm were quieted, the wealth I never had fell to me, and my wife started to love me like I’ve always wanted to be loved. Have I been spiritually sick or dead long enough, God?
I can’t have control, for reasons, at least not yet. I’m the pawn in the chess game, waiting to be knocked off the board. I can’t have control, not even over my little corner of the world. Things are still going to shit in my own little personal shit storm. I don’t get what I want because happily ever after only happens in fairy tales, says my lack of faith. What I want, without any expectations, is, not just to be able to fix my own issues, but to help other people with theirs too, that whole “greater things than these” promise Jesus gives his followers.
John 14:12-14 New International Version (NIV)
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
I’m not interested in being “Bruce Almighty,” playboy.
What a waste of power. I’m interested in making things easier on people who’ve suffered even more than I have. The suffering I’ve failed to endure has broken almost every shred of faith I thought I had. And once, I thought I had some faith.
I know for myself what I believe would fan my “smoldering wick” to a flame. Can I have THAT, God? Please? (See also verses 13 and 14. Please.)
Until then, I’ll do my best to be encouraging for other people, worthless though that feels to me. I only have words, and they aren’t faithful enough to create worlds or be of any actual value to anyone. No, in my heart I’m Mary and I don’t even want to go out to see Jesus because I’m disappointed and broken and done with it; I’m waiting for my death and resurrection at the end of it all. I’m less than a king. I’m less than a pawn. Just call me Deon “Dunsel” Mumple. Your inner geek might recall the term. My inner geek recalls this from a Star Trek movie-I’m not helping the ship steer or float or propel. I’m just there, like unclaimed baggage.
I’d like to be more than dead weight.