Sunday, January 14, 2007


So many questions.

There are times when my mind is just full of them. I think that I thought this would be a symptom of youth. Like you would have loads of questions as you started into life, but as life progressed you would find more and more of the answers. Maturity, then, would be a feeling of understanding so many things.

At this point, the point of being 44 and having some level of maturity that has happened along the way, it doesn't really feel the way I guess I thought it might.

It doesn't feel scary. It doesn't feel desperate or hopeless. Confused at time, yes. (Often, actually.) Anger sometimes. (More often than I would like to admit.) A deeper sense of wonder. A more profound understanding of the brevity and fragile nature of life.

But overall, a sense that the questions don't diminish. Rather, they seem to increase.

I love the Jars of Clay lyric that says, "You take away my firm belief and graft my soul upon your grief."

It feels like I used to carry this firm belief that if you "just do such and so" the result will be some prescribed scenario that I believed to be the correct scenario. That "firm belief" loosens.

And there are times when my soul feels smashed up and crushed on the grief of the world.

I know Who it is I look to the answers for. I am more at peace with the fact that He isn't all that forthcoming with them.

All day I've had the hymn Rock of Ages in my head. I don't sing it with crashing piano accompaniment in mind or with a marching beat. I sing it with a mournful kind of hope.

"Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee."

Yes, Lord, in Thee.


chris jones said...

i have been re-reading ruthless trust by Brennan Manning and I know exactly the feeling Lisa - although I must admit to being slightly south of 44 I do have 5 kids so I feel that some multiple of my current age is justifiable. specifically your comment about linear thinking with God - if A then B. I wonder if that is presumption on our part.
Hope you had a great time with the 24-7 crew.

cari said...

Yeah, that's good.
I'm only 18, and every year I get older, I feel like I know even less. I have more questions and I'm hungrier and even more skeptical.
Jesse said you are in the UK right now with 24/7. That is rad. I am thinking of you.
Thanks so much for the letter. I love letters. Mucho. Expect one back.
We went up to the Peace Arches last night and prayed over Santa Barbara, IV, Westmont, the rich, the beggars. He's so real. It's so odd, because all of me wants to believe it, and all of me won't.
May your time there be rich.
May our sojourning, grasping faith be real.

Rachel said...

Lisa, you said you were inadequate to respond to my request, but I think this does it pretty well. : ) I'm starting to wonder if perhaps very little of life is really meant to make much sense to us, and that's what faith is all I'll keep falling asleep with my ipod set to my "Jesus Lullabies" and "Heart Salve" playlists, hiding my soul away in the cleft of the rock for comfort and rest...learning to (in faltering steps) trust this mysterious God who refuses to be boxed in...and getting up in the morning to love, and learn, and seek joy in the not-knowing. And, to take some things a little less seriously. (Laughter never hurt anyone.) Thanks for your words. I hope Ireland was (is?) deeply refreshing.

Rachel said...

One more comment from me. : ) Today, someone who knows a little bit about what's going on in my mind & heart these days handed me the following quote from Rainer Maria Rilke (I had seen this before, but had not thought of it for some time). I thought it was relevant to this blog thread, so here it is:

From Letters to a Young Poet

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

lisa said...

Thanks, Rachel. That's helpful. These days I feel more patient with the questions and more patient with my humanity. It's a nice thing. Much love!