Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Grief

Grief in many ways is similar to depression in my experience. The sense of overwhelming despair is just as prevalent. The unwelcome sensations that appear to be beyond your psychological control are in that sense exactly the same. However both of these emotional states come with their own voice. In my recollection of depression the voice itself often made irrational, illogical and destructive statements about my self worth. The ability to combat that in a conscious way, through rational logic was able to give me some relief from it, although it obviously was not by any means a cure. Grief on the other hand has it's bearing in reality. It's voice cannot be dismissed through logic in the same way. The loss, the despair and the compelling futile desire to be able to interact with that person again are completely rational and logical. There is no argument against this voice, in fact I can only be in agreement with it. I can only rationalise that I am indeed supposed to feel this way. However with the compulsion and guilt and regret from past failures comes irrational fantasies of living in the past, and improving on those interactions that took place, of course these have no bearing in reality since you cannot alter the past. So in that sense rational logic can combat that too. But it is only in my theological understanding of what remains of the born again believer that I can find comfort. The guaranteed promise of being reunited with the saved soul through Jesus Christ is extremely comforting because it means that past failures are potentially correctable, although from my understanding they will become irrelevant when we are reunited. Jesus Christ will wipe away every tear from those that trust and believe in Him. I have no idea how anyone with a similar theological understanding could cope with the loss of a loved one that does not know Christ because that reassurance is not there. I would imagine it would lead to guilt for not being able to convince them to come to accept Christ too, even if that is realistically an oversimplification of a souls spiritual journey. I expect one day I will find out, because, even though I know I will improve my ability to show people the door that Christ knocks on as I grow spiritually they still have to make that decision to open it.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Love

In Greek there are 4 different words used to describe love. Storge, Philia, Eros, and Agape. Storge is the type of love that parent's have for their children. Philia, is brotherly love that we would have for each other as equals. Eros is generally the love that a married couple have for each other. Agape is the unconditional love that God has for us. While the Bible advocates that God has Agape love for us, I don't think that in my personal experience that I am capable, even in my born again state to be able to reciprocate in that kind of love. I can't possibly feel the unconditional love that God has for us, for anyone or anything. I can't possibly forgive on the same level as God has for us.

So what love do I feel?

Well I have great difficulty in Storge love. I see everybody as equals, and everyone as equals. I haven't had the experience of being a parent, so I haven't really experienced that kind of protective love that a parent has. So that leaves me with Philia and Eros.

I think in most human (and animal) relationships I experience Philia love. Which is an issue especially if I try to communicate with a child or a pet in the same way I would an adult. In a church or family setting Philia love is what I feel, but that is different from my relationship with God.

While I have heard preaching that advocates that we should aim to feel Agape love towards God, I've already dismissed that as something that I am incapable of. So my aim really is to experience Eros love with God. Yes, it's not quite the same as the Eros love one feels within marriage, it is after all not sexual in any way, but then marriage isn't just about sex. The intimacy of knowing God is like a marriage in that sense though. We, as the church, are the bride of Christ. My aim in my spiritual growth is nothing short of understanding and knowing God intimately, like in a marriage. Of understanding His thinking, and His will. Of understanding His morality, and His strength and His peace.

We can get to know this foremost in His word. The Bible is a love letter to us, and we should treat it as such. It should be treated respectfully, and lovingly, and sought after and read again and again, and treasured like one would treat a love letter from someone intimately close to you.

In my experience of marriage, it was physically painful to be separated for any period of time. It hurt emotionally. Sin is separation from God. To live in sin is painful for the same reason. It is bad for me, and anyone that lives in it. That in itself should be reason to turn to Christ and ask for repentance, and to change your direction towards Him. It isn't for His sake, it's for yours.

And it is in Christ only that I can experience Eros love now.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Thank you

Thank you for holding my hand as hers grew cold.
Thank you for holding my heart when it should have been breaking.
Thank you for holding my soul when it wanted to go with her.
Thank you for giving me the words when I had none.
Thank you for giving me strength when I am weak.
Thank you for giving me hope when all around me is despair.
Thank you for giving me peace when the world around me is falling apart.
Thank you for giving me purpose when I am lost in the wilderness.
Thank you for your love in a world of hate.
Thank you most of all for your sacrifice that sets me to be free.