Whatever is Not of Faith

so speak it plain, or leave it out
I see it plain, love drawn with doubt. . .

I have no words and I have no face)
‘Till you speak it plain, speak it plain

It looked like everything was finally, at the last minute, coming together. Then I found out that a class I thought was going to be $500 was actually going to be almost $3,000, the most expensive class I’ve ever heard of, and far, far beyond any of my means.

Did I fall back into the depths of anxiety? No. I did get upset, though. If I was living on my own, I would have washed dishes and swept the floor while talking and yelling and crying. But I don’t live alone, so I crawled into bed and pulled the covers over my head and very quietly whispered and wept and eventually fell asleep, although I didn’t mean to–unshowered, teeth unbrushed, fully dressed and the lights still on.

I wanna know this love without a doubt
I wanna know this love will find me out
I wanna know the wrong will be made right
I wanna know some peace tonight
And in the dark and holy places
I just come undone

I know what I would have done, had I been living alone, because I did the same thing when I was house-sitting, and found out definitively that I would NOT be able to continue working at my favored place of employment once I graduated. I had been counting on that for almost two years, and I wanted to work there. My support system was there. I told God I thought He loved me. I said I knew He could make it happen. I wanted to know why He was just brushing me aside, like I didn’t matter. All that, and He wouldn’t even see it through?

Now I bet you think I’m going to say, “But God knew better, and everything was more wonderful than I could imagine.” Of course He knew better. He promptly placed me (after graduation) in a job with my ideal patient population, who I loved, and I grew in more ways than I could imagine. But I don’t want to brush aside my existence, either. It did hurt. It still hurts. Those people were my support system, and I missed them a lot and still miss them. God had good plans in store for me, but that doesn’t magically make the hurt go away. And it doesn’t now, either.

You whisper in some other language
Gospel songs and hidden things
And when I call you in the midnight
I cannot find a phone that rings

One of the things that I complained to God about last night was that I thought I was supposed to be able to hear Him. Didn’t He say His sheep hear His voice? Didn’t He say we were no longer servants who don’t know what the master is doing, but rather His brothers and sisters? He must love me, because to deny His love is to deny who He says He is. . .but if this is love, why am I so incapable of understanding love? Why love me in a why I can’t comprehend, can’t receive, can’t tell that’s what it is?

It wasn’t about the money. In the grand scheme of the universe, what is money, anyhow? It’s because I wanted to know He loved me. I wanted to know He cared for me. I wanted to know He would provide for me. I wanted Him to come down from heaven in a miracle, just to tell me and the world that I was His. I wanted to know that He was close, that He was for me, and that I was walking in the path that He had laid out for me, and that He approved.

You show to one your kindest favor
And make one go numb…

I didn’t want this, which felt like a slap in the face and a total disregard for me. I wasn’t important. I wasn’t cared for. I wasn’t delighted in. I was just Another.

I have heard some people say that to God, greater difficulties are just opportunities for Him to show more thoroughly His power and love. So I guess I’m supposed to feel excited that God has just raised the bar for His own intervention. But I don’t. I hurt, and I’m not at all sure that hurt will go away, even as He reveals His plans. I fell asleep wandering in that darkness, and woke up the next morning still stumbling around in it.

You take my troubles like a river
You drain them slow down to the dregs
I throw myself down thru the floorboards
And see my image in the glass
In myth and reason we uncover
What effort could not win

If nothing else, I needed answers. Hurt feelings aside, what did this mean about what came next? What was I supposed to do in light of this information?

Keep moving forward.

All silence unless I asked that, and only that answer, more than once. It made me angry. Keep moving forward? What kind of an answer is that? How am I supposed to keep moving forward when I don’t have any money? HOW am I supposed to keep moving forward?

Day by day. . .what do you need today?

That takes a lot of the wind out of your sails, do you know that? What do I need today? Nothing, I guess. How do I keep moving forward today? Finish that lab report. Work on the answers the college wants for their article on their scholarship winner. Maybe study a little for my physics final tomorrow. Take a jog in the winter night.

I don’t know the reason. I don’t know the how. People can argue it till they’re blue in the face, but it doesn’t matter; logic and reason will always fail in the end. What matters is that whatever is not of faith is not for me. I have to move forward now, because I can’t not move forward.

Maybe God will still intervene in a miraculous way at the very, very last second. Maybe He won’t do what I’m asking, and I will still feel that hurt of a refusal. I will still keep coming back to Him, even it means then I am asking Him to free me from the thousands of dollars of debt. I am angry and sad and disappointed that we can’t do this my way. . .but what I am still looking for the most is not to have things done my way but to be able to understand His expression of love.

So speak it plain, or leave it out
I see it plain, love drawn with doubt
I’m made to serve my own device
Until we come to set things right
I have no words, I have no face
Until you come to speak it plain
I have no words
And I have no face

All quotations from Sandra McCracken’s Doubt, from the album Gravity|Love.

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