Monday, April 7, 2008

L.A.E (Life After Eden): Secrets and longing

Once upon a time, a long time ago when I was much younger and far more foolish I dreamed of being able to prove my faith. I dreamed of finding that one overwhelming argument, that bit of undeniable logic, that mathematical equation even that showed that could vindicate all I believed to an unbelieving world. It is now many years later and I have found nothing of the sort. I have looked at every argument from the ethical to the mathematical and there was a plausible counter argument to every one. Even the work of CS Lewis - which to me is nothing less than sheer genius - can be pulled apart at the seams and discarded by those of sufficient intelligence. Now I have realized that this quest was folly to begin with. You simply cannot argue anyone into the Kingdom. You shouldn't want to. See the problem with getting someone to believe in Jesus with a good argument is that someone else may get that person to stop believing due to a better argument.

Yet today, my quest long since declared folly, I came across what is possibly the closest thing to proof of my faith than I could ever hope to find. I stumbled upon a blog called Post Secret - a simple concept really, people from all over write their secrets anonymously on a postcard and send it in and it gets posted. Now I will resist the temptation to use words like "compelling evidence" but I have yet to find anything that so truly seems to point to the truth of the Fall (Genesis 3).

Usually when we try to show how fallen humanity is we point to the news and the pain in this world, how humanity seems to be able to sink lower just when you think we have hit rock bottom. Certainly there were plenty of postcards to showcase this. The blog itself only shows one week at a time but I found a Facebook group dedicated to it and looked through 1049 of these postcards. From the person who admitted to finding a reasons for people to desert him because his father never gave one to the girl who told of how she has promiscuous sex in order to devalue sex so that she may be able devalue the fact that she was raped and the man who seems proud of the fact that he has a sexual relationship with his niece. These go on and on, in fact it would be fair to say that the bulk of these postcards demonstrate just how broken and lost humanity really is. But this is not what tells me the Fall must have been a reality.

See every once in a while, buried between all the darkness would be something beautiful, an expression of love. On the Facebook group, each one of these would have a mass outpouring "I wish this one was meant for me". To me, this offers incredible proof of the reality of the fall of mankind. See the thing is when I read those I wished exactly the same thing. And here is the kicker - I have actually received similar expressions of love from others. It just wasn't enough or rather it was enough, just not enough to last me for very long. You see it's not that I am unloved or unappreciated, it's mostly that no matter how loved and appreciated I am, I never feel loved and appreciated enough. That is partially why I blog in the first place, that is why I fake things and try to come across more interesting, why I fish for compliments and why I always need more. I look into my heart and see a bottomless chasm aching for more - more love, more appreciation, more acceptance, more compliments more everything. And in the rare moments I manage to get outside of my own head I find this same inexplicable chasm in the hearts of others. We need to be special, we need to be needed, we need to be wanted, we need to be thought of as precious and worthy by others - not just the ones we are close to but even complete strangers. Scratch that, especially by strangers. Why else would we disregard the complements of those who love us and know us best but embrace the offhand comments of those who never met us? We struggle to belong and at the same time we struggle to stand out. Who does not dream/hope/believe that if someone just really got to know us they would realize just how special and worthy we really are? Who among us doesn't yet at the same time hold back due to the fear that if our wish was somehow granted and people got to see us as we really are we would be revealed as the frauds we secretly fear we are?

My point here is simple: It seems that there is a bottomless pit in the human heart (maybe not in yours but certainly in mine) that simply cannot seem to be filled. No matter how loved and wanted I am, I always feel a yearning for more. There is a loneliness and a longing in me that I cannot seem to silence. Since it seems that I am not the only one I have to conclude one of two things (this is why I won't propose this as undeniable truth): Either there is a terrible programming error in the human genome OR once upon a time, long ago when humanity was new, this chasm used to be occupied by a Being large enough to fill it to the brim. A case could be made for both options I guess so I do not present this as any sort of absolute, incontrovertible truth. I for one believe that I have a need this great inside me because I was supposed to live in constant communion and fellowship with Someone great enough to satisfy it. I believe that this fellowship has been broken and this former blessing has become a curse. God once walked with us in a garden and we lost that and no matter what we do or drink or eat or learn or even pray we can never climb back up to the place we were before we fell.

We can be content, we can be happy, we can live, love, be loved and we can worship, all to the point of being so filled that we can forget the dark chasm of the soul even exist. Just never for long though. Every now and again, alone in the dark, we realize that it is still there, has been all along and that everything we thought filled it was but a drop in the ocean. Its what drives us. After all, why else would be even have a word like fulfillment?

[Now I use words like "we" and "us" but I realize I can only speak for "me". You are other and different and I am of course limited by that. I think thats the best part of the internet really, it shows us that others are not as "other" as we may think. I certainly saw a lot of comments to day which may as well have been spoken by me. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe I just happened to run into the one group who is similar to me and maybe I am blind to those who are nothing like me. Maybe none of this resonates with you at all. In that case, consider yourself wildly blessed! Please tell me your secret, I would love to know how you do it.]

1 comment:

Tania said...

Hi Geno, this one almost made me cry. I believe we do have that emptiness, all of us. The most we can do is try and find contentment in the human love we are given, that is so often given freely. I think the problem lies not so much in the inability to love, but the inability to truly receive love - as we were meant to.