How do I know? he asks, that it is God and not positive words and energy bringing my stormy life peace?
The world can be so ugly that I can’t blame him for asking. His own life stained by the pain of a chronically ill parent and girlfriend. The news filled with grown up gangs who slice off someone’s head just because they hate someone else.
The whole, if God is a loving, powerful, miraculous God, then why would He…
I remember 1000 tiny reasons why, and I’m grateful to have counted, but that’s not how I really know. I remember hearing about the wonders of the universe, the amazement of creation, but the knowing is not found there…at least not for me. I can be talked into science and accidental beauty and perfection as unlikely as they may seem. I ponder if it is community and His Body, but although a thing of beauty, it is not them that brings certainty to my faith question. I think about my well worn, weathered security blanket and question whether it is His Words that bring the knowing? I am getting closer to the Truth, I can tell, but still not quite at my destination of Determined Purpose.
Then I remember dark nights when I wake on my own to a terror more tangible than pain, I remember sorrow so deep that I am certain I am no longer whole but broken in two and memories of circumstances far beyond my control that trap me into a claustrophobic corner. Yes this is how I know.
I know when my cross gets too heavy, when I have failed miserably, when the phone rings and the words I least want to hear are uttered.
I know when the valley seems too deep and the surrounding mountains too steep to scale even on my most athletic and healthy day.
Yes, ironically, these are the things that cause me to know.
Because what am I fighting if I’m not fighting real evil? Who am I struggling against if that evil isn’t personified? And if evil is personified as a Devil then who made him? Sometimes it’s easier to believe in the Devil than it is in God.
And why does the war continue to get more intense? If it’s just the ugliness of human nature, how do we know, really know deep inside,that things can be better, that we can be better?
And most importantly, how am I aware that I am not alone when that terror wakes me, when the television flickers real life horror, when the telephone rings with the worst news ever?
I know because out of knowwhere, He is here. In this room. Right now. In me and around me. He is here when He is knowwhere to be found in the shell shocked world. He comforts, coaches and soothes my battle scars.
I know because I know Him. I don’t just know of or about Him. I know Him. In the ancient writings a husband and wife knew each other and it was the most intimate of knowing, the closest two human beings can get and the fruit of that is a little bundle of perfect innocence. There is a knowing of spirits too and the fruit of it is that of transformation from the deepest parts. A changing from death to life.
I know One who has brought me to a place called Knowwhere, and in the place no thing is as reals as the One who carried me there. Yes there is a place called Knowwhere and here is the knowing. It is entered by grace and kept safe by faith.
I pray that the young man who asked the question has a Grace Day soon. The day he has the grace to believe that he can know. In the meantime, I am grateful for the question because it’s always good to remember why we know…Succinctly, precisely How. We. Know.
I know because He reveals. He reveals because He loves. He loves because that is Who He is. Now I live knowwhere, and it’s just where I want to be found.
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