Anyone who has read more then one blog post is probably aware that I am a Christian. Let me define, it can be an ambiguous term. I believe that I was created by a God who created all things, loves His creation and died to save it after it fell into darkness and sin. I believe that He exists everywhere but somehow humankind will not understand Him completely until He returns to earth and makes it perfect like it once was. In the meantime, we have a responsibility as those who were created by Him and love Him to obey His words and love the people around us. We are not perfect and make mistakes, but when God returns to live intimately with his creation we will be able to love perfectly- without selfishness, pride or greed. At the end of time, we will be able to love as we were created to love.
For those of you who have not read the Bible or may not know it all that well, there is a verse in the book of Romans that talks about the longing of Christians to be reunited with Christ. In other words, if we have accepted the truth that this earth is temporary and imperfect, there is a hope of one day all being made right. Essentially, all the evil that exists in the world is allowed to take place because God is not fully present to make things perfect. Why does He stay away then? I don't know- it seems like the obvious answer would be for Him to come back and take over. Get rid of cancer, bullying, starvation, genocide, house fires, rape, loneliness, racism... all the bad things that make life on earth so hard.
I never really understood the sentiment I mentioned above of Christians LONGING for the return of God. Grant and I joke that maybe Hurricane Katrina was our biggie and WHEW.. glad that's over, now we can just live life knowing that our big tragedy is already past. People should only have one big one, right? The family dealing with a child with cancer should be immune from anything else- they should have food on the table, a car that runs all the time, jobs that give them unlimited time off without worry of being let go, access to cutting edge oncology care, etc. There is only so much people can handle.
So if our big life trial is over, we can ride out the rest of our days with a strong marriage, two beautiful and healthy babes, good jobs and great educations, a house, 1.5 cars, and Trader Joes. I didn't really have a LONGING or desperation for God to come back and made the world as it should be- perfect. I had a few twinges of fear after Pursy and Knox were born- feeling like if I could be with them all the time, nothing bad would ever happen to them. I could somehow protect them. Wishing that I didn't have to take all the responsibility and just let them frolic and play in a world that was safe and protective. I thought it would be amazing if God would return, but I had a lot of confidence in my own ability to make the world okay for my children.
Then I read about the double murder/suicide of the nanny in NYC. A trusted and beloved childcare worker stabbing two of her little charges to death in a bathtub in Manhattan. A mother coming home with her third child after a swim lesson and finding a dark apartment and a bathroom filled with the unthinkable.
And I finally get it.
I get why we should long for God to come back to earth and be permanently with His people. Because only then will things like this never happen again. Because the promise of a world perfected and the end of sickness, death, pain, fear, loneliness is why I can get out of bed in the morning and live in a world where things like people killing other people happens. Because it isn't supposed to be this way. This is not the end of the plan. And I don't understand why God hasn't come yet, but He will and I am desperate for it. I will cling to it like Pursy clings to me when we walk by the house on our street with two pit bulls in the front yard barking at the fence. Desperately. But eventually we pass by the house and she calms down and with confidence climbs down and finishes our walk. Because she trusts that the story doesn't end with pit bulls. It ends with peace and a hand to hold.
That is why I am a Christian. Because God wants something more for us and He laid out a way for us to understand a little bit now. One day we will get it completely- we will know why pain and darkness existed and we will be so thankful that our God is home. With us.