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The Heartache of an Echo

The Heartache of an Echo

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Published by Thom Hunter
I think sometimes we think we might prefer a "No . . . No . . . No . . ." wagging-a-warning-finger God. And we would, of course, gently lay down our pride, sweep aside our defiance, thank Him profusely for keeping us from falling, pledge our undying trust and obey without question. Or perhaps we would eat of the fruit; gain the knowledge we do not need; satisfy the glutton side of our spirit and waddle into our all-too-familiar rescue me mode.
I think sometimes we think we might prefer a "No . . . No . . . No . . ." wagging-a-warning-finger God. And we would, of course, gently lay down our pride, sweep aside our defiance, thank Him profusely for keeping us from falling, pledge our undying trust and obey without question. Or perhaps we would eat of the fruit; gain the knowledge we do not need; satisfy the glutton side of our spirit and waddle into our all-too-familiar rescue me mode.

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Published by: Thom Hunter on Jul 16, 2010
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07/21/2010

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By Thom Hunter --
Where is God? ...Go to Him when your need is desperate, whenall other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double-bolting on theinside. After that, silence.” – C.S. Lewis, after the death of hiswife.
My grandfather was a man of few words. At least he was to me. I wasoften just an intrusive little boy who always forgot to not slam thescreen door when running in and out. I'd yell out an "I'm sorry" as Ibounded down the porch steps or down the hall. Paw-Paw, sitting at acard table playing Solitaire, would usually just make a grunting noise inreturn, not looking up from the cards, though once I paused and sawhim smile. That told me a lot more than the grunt.I regret now that I was always dashing in and out and passing his tablewith little thought. He was so accessible, but for some reason I felt hewould have little to say, not a lot in common, and might want me tolinger longer than I wanted to. So, I dashed and slammed. What wasso much more important? Hide-and-seek with the now-forgotten
 
neighborhood kids in our connecting yards? A comic book down thehall that needed reading?I wonder if the slamming door echoed in the emptiness of the room inwhich he often sat alone playing his cards or eating syrup on bread?How long did the smile stay on his face?I do know that my grandfather was not a man of few words witheveryone. He helped my older brother assemble a motorcycle. Thattakes more than a grunt. And I do remember him putting some prettystern and loud polish on a few words here and there . . . again usuallyspoken to my brother, often from the front porch as the motorcycledisappeared down the street. Probably sent the neighbor kids into adeeper form of hide-and seek.I wouldn't necessarily say Paw-Paw had a way with words, seeing ashow he somehow gave my grandmother the nickname "Bump," a termof endearment she endured until his death and probably repeated inher peaceful thoughts until her own.What words would he have had for me had I listened? Would I havehad a nickname? What might Paw-Paw have wanted to hear had Islowed and sat a moment at the table? Maybe he was much moreinterested in me than I thought. I believe he was. Maybe he wouldhave said more if I had sought more. I believe he would have.I' never picture God as a grandfather, puttering around in the garagefor spare parts to make this or that work again. He doesn't tinker. Heticked the first tick and knows all and sees all and hears all . . . butsometimes I think He plays a little Solitaire.How about Hearts instead, God? Deal me in.I know that God is omni-present; but it seems every now and then Heis omni-absent. The sign on the door says "Gone Fishing," the lightsare out, the doorbell dings in an empty room, the No Vacancy sign ison . . . drive on down the road . . . alone. Yes, I know that is not true;He never leaves me; He never leaves you. Even as I sit here and writequestions about His absence, He knows each keystroke in advance.But . . . will He keep me from misspelling? Bad grammar? No.Wasn't He there, in the Garden of Eden, right
after 
Adam and Eve'sencounter with the serpent? His Word says God came walking up inthe cool of the day. Surely He was also there in the heat of themoment. Yet He didn't clear his throat and wag his finger and say
 
"Ummm . . . Eve . . no, no, no." So Eve did, did, did and we've beendone for since.God was oddly silent and then clearly loud.I'll admit that it bothers me a bit to know that God was with me beforeI slipped and, with all the power of the universe, watched me tumble,twist and turn on the way down, hit the bottom with a gut-wrenchingand bone-jarring thud . . . and then comes out in the cool of the day asif He had not seen it all happen. Is He really a "what's up?" God?No.
“Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage.Yes, wait for the Lord.” -- Psalm 27:14
But I don't want to wait. I want to act. I want to meet a . . . need?I
want!
How many of us, when we are dialing a number we shouldn't know;turning into an area we shouldn't go, logging on to a website weshouldn't see, acting like someone we shouldn't be . . . say toourselves: "Wait . . . Let me ask God about this?"It's easy to say He's not speaking when we're not pausing. It's purespiritual finger-pointing to say He's not responding when we're notreflecting.I think sometimes we think we might prefer a "No . . . No . . . No . . ."wagging-a-warning finger God. And we would, of course, gently laydown our pride, sweep aside our defiance, thank Him profusely forkeeping us from falling, pledge our undying trust and obey withoutquestion. Or perhaps we would eat of the fruit; gain the knowledge wedo not need; satisfy the glutton side of our spirit and waddle into ourall-too-familiar rescue me mode.Fact of the matter is, God does wag a "No . . . No. . . No. . . " finger inour faces. We just ignore it and say we didn't hear Him. Are weactually expecting God to come sit by our bedside and read His Wordaloud to us at night?
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring

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