Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tough Stories I

Thinking more about that 1st chapter of TCITB (Abraham and Issac) and about the author's observations and comments regarding abuse and the imagery of a child staring at dad standing over him with a knife and the scariness of that scenario . . . (the author was Terence E. Fretheim)

One of the things about scripture - I think the people from Young Children in Worship (YCIW) said this - is that sacred story, unlike modern media, doesn't fill in all the details. It doesn't tell you everything. It leaves room to ruminate, to ponder. It leaves space for the imagination - doors and windows for the Holy Spirit to help us see just a little more of life through His eyes.

I want to believe that the details God gives us and the details He leaves out are intentional. As we ponder the detail and the spaces that lack detail in God's stories, as we meditate on a passage - words from God's own mouth - we can draw near to Him and know Him just a little better. Sometimes He fills in spaces, sometimes He doesn't. We aren't all little clones. Our life experiences aren't identical. There is some freedom attached to those spaces. The spaces also give us the freedom to see the stories through the eyes and experience of the children without going beyond that.

Here is the space that a grown-up was pondering through the eyes of a child: What did Isaac see when he was lying on the table and his father was standing over him? Did Abraham have anger in his eyes. . . or. . was he trying not to be angry at God. . . or . . . was he emotion-less (the Lord gives, the Lord takes away) . . . Maybe he was a passionate man who wasn't afraid to express his emotions . . . Maybe tears streamed down his face. These are spaces. God doesn't tell us the details. We can only ask questions. We don't really know. But that's ok. We don't need to know. Without changing the scriptures at all - space or detail- none of the scenarios I've explored are true or not true. We just don't know. The spaces leave possibilities to ponder. Is that lack of detail insignificant ("don't think about that because we don't know") or can the possibilities - the missing details draw us closer to God than details - places where the Spirit of God can minister to different people in different ways about different things. Maybe the spaces just give God room to be God.

But what if . . . ?

No comments:

Post a Comment