Love has the most important conversation (pt3)

by Craig on October 19, 2011

How do I share the gospel with a ℓℴѵℯ∂ one?source

Love asks questions that attract and energize knowing…
that turn, and swivel, and sway wheels of understanding…

that bring us into same circles…
instead of leaving us outside looking – or overlooking – what’s within.

These were the most important questions…
questions of life and death…
asked to my mom…
who was…
dying.

Part one of this most important conversation is here, part two on Deep into Scripture here.

Asking questions of love before blurting out an insensitive gospel.

Mom…

Is the Bible without error?

Well…it does contradict itself.

Eye for an eye [vs] turning the other cheek.
If you have the faith of a mustard seed…
sometimes when I’m so sure of something happening…
I have no doubt, and I pray to the Lord for it – it doesn’t come about.
But when I had a little doubt, then it would come.
Total faith is not answering my prayers – a little doubt with faith has answered my prayers.
And it says if you’re married and your wife can’t have a baby…
just go have one with another woman.
It’s not without error because it was written by man.

She had asked these questions…
or someone had asked her…
I only wish she had asked me…
I had asked the same ones…

How do I share the gospel with a ℓℴѵℯ∂ one?source

Is the Bible God’s inspired word?

Yes.

Inspired but with contradictions. My mom had unattended doubts. She didn’t know that doubt is the handmaiden to faith – but doubt left unattended can become a faith unto itself. We all believe something…

Is the Bible relevant?

And MaryAnne – that’s her name – though everyone called her Mary.
She thought on this one a little before answering…
starting to answer once or twice…
but regrouping first…

Yes…some of it is.

It was an answer that made sense given the answers that had come before.

Not the whole of it?

No.

One word reveals so much. My mom said this weakly, resigned, head down, almost in a whisper.
Shades of disappointment revealed in between the letters of a tiny word…
as if she one time thought it to be true…
and discovered otherwise.
In her eyes you could see the sad…
you could see the “Why not yes?” in the “No”.

How do I share the gospel with a ℓℴѵℯ∂ one?source

And I’m reminded…

if I just slow down to listen…

really listen to the spaces in and around words…

to the head and the hands and the eyes and the heart…

I can hear so much better…

ears to hear…

ears to hear…

and there’s more of this today over at Deep into Scripture

please click here to go there…

linking today with other Grace chasers at Ann’s

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora October 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

I left the bulk of my comment on your other blog, but just found this in my email this morning. I thought it fit right in with this very fittingly.
http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/day-by-day/day-by-day-oct13-2010-11639440.html

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:13 am

(((smile))) . I remember, not having heard too many sermons – not being very churched and all – and listening to Chuck Swindoll preach on the radio. I thought to myself – I could never preach – I could never be that good. And I was right – I could never be Chuck Swindoll – but between you and me – I have – and can still – whip up a pretty good sermon. I heart speaking even more than I heart writing. God bless you Cora!

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Cora October 19, 2011 at 11:20 am

I’d LOVE to hear you preach, Craig!

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

I preach like I write ツ haven’t done it for s long while.

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Beth Werner Lee October 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

Dear Craig, you have such a tender heart. Thank you for writing this, honestly and bravely. I’m sorry for your pain, mom dying, yet so glad you have the conversation time. Thanking God for that. My mom died Nov 10, 2006 and I still miss her very much. So I’ll love you as a sister in grief and comfort at the same time, contradictions, yes? Thanks and praise to God.

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

Beth, thank you, and please keep in mind that this is all past tense – mom changed home address from this Earth – to Heaven – many years ago. So thank you for sharing my grief – but there’s no grief – I still miss her – and for a while I grieved because I doubted where she was – until God cleared that up for me after she had died – in one of those “God” type ways. I think that will be the last post in this series – how he did that little miracle for me. Thank you, Beth, and God bless you.

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thefisherlady October 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

I love Ann’s post today at A Holy Experience… she says from Psalm 4:4
Stand in awe
and sin not
and be still
————————–
Selah
simple living in Him is always our peace… being in awe… of Him
and sin not…( don’t be like the unbeliever)
like you say… just slow down …and listen
When we are still, we hear very well :)

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I know! I was there to see it bright and early. Oh, to have her wisdom, her spirit, her grace. She slows down, and she listens, very well! It’s obvious that you do too. God bless you Susan.

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thefisherlady October 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm

but Craig, you do have it all… we watch with wonder as God spills His wisdom, His spirit, His grace on all His own <3

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Alyssa Santos October 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

stopped by from ann’s…. I had conversations with my mom (now in her 80s), too. So much falls on us mommy’s :) I never want to leave a question unanswered. But, as I’ve grown as a parent, I’ve learned that the not-fully-answered questions are the lamp-lit pathways that my kids can follow into truth. I especially appreciated that “doubt is the handmaiden to faith” –so very true. I am a lifelong, doubting, faithful follower of Jesus. Without doubt, I could not trust. Thank you!

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Alyssa, THAT is wisdom – “not fully answered questions” – I heart that!

And the handmaiden of faith – subservient to, and helpful to faith – I have said this before but…my faith would not now be as strong as it is if my doubt was not as strong as it was. God bless you, my fellow lifelong, doubting, faithful follower of Jesus!

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cori October 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Your posts are always spot on and stellar! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us all!

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm

thank you Cori. I’ve never read a single post of yours that I didn’t heart. ツ God bless you and all of yours.

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Mela Kamin October 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Honest and touching … I’ve had conversations like this in my head with others I’ve wondered and worried about – time to put feet to my faith and ask the questions.

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Craig October 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Mela, thank you. the more I write this out, the more I realize that it would take a really highly motivated person – on both sides – to have this depth of conversation. I think I’m going to come to the conclusion that all these questions need to be asked for those we love – but not necessarily all at once. But – the actual “sharing” of the gospel – might best wait until all the questions are answered and the answers understood. And of course – we live the gospel out in front of them. Still processing – anyway – thank you – I’m touched. God bless and keep you and all of yours.

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Christina October 20, 2011 at 7:10 am

I love the way you share the pains of real life with honesty and integrity. It takes deep faith to take on the deeper questions and conflicts we often have with scripture. I wish I could have a full time job just reading blogs like yours, but alas, I must attend to the children… Thanks as always!

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Craig October 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

thank you Christina – I can only share this way – only be this honest – only write this way because I blog in this community – and get to read women like you. Men just don’t write like this – well I do – but that’s only because of being here, in this space – with amazing Christian moms to learn from. And your job? “Attending to the children.” – Only the most important job there is – and it only takes brilliant people with brilliant love – and sometimes the name Christina. God bless you!

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Nacole@sixinthesticks October 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

hi Craig,

this is good! questions that we need to delve into. i am going to try to read all of these. i like what ive read so far of these and the elevator pitch!

i loved this:
“Love asks questions that attract and energize knowing…
that turn, and swivel, and sway wheels of understanding…

that bring us into same circles…
instead of leaving us outside looking – or overlooking – what’s within.”

sway wheels of understanding…yes, you captured that perfectly in words, the way it all just teeter-totters…we are so lost and our understanding is like looking through a glass darkly, but one day, ONE DAY it will all be made clear and we will wander no more. our heart will be home.

i also enjoyed that doubt is the handmaiden to faith–YES! God is the author–this is encouraging. He made ALL of it for a reason–not just the good.

i finished the two posts–2 parts to one story, i hope i did well. it was a little long, im not sure i did a good job on the “hook” at the ending of the first one to motivate interest to come back to the ending, and im hoping that it all tied together and made sense, especially where i gave the answer to “The Key to Change” at the end. my husband helped me a little. his clear thinking was very much needed. i was too focused (and a little confused) about the answer i was “supposed” to give instead of what i felt in my heart to be right and true. let me know what you think? one thing i learned–i will not be able to do more than 2-3 posts per week, and i am going to have to wake very early to be able to do any at all. learning…

blessings in His grace,

Nacole

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Craig October 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm

writing those first couple of sentences – and I really mean this – I can only do that because of the influence of writers like you – I’m learning all the time. And don’t worry about the “hook” in your writing – your heart. The best writing in this interweb bloggy space isn’t like writing a book – it’s not writing a magazine article – it’s writing our hearts on the interwebs. I don’t think it’s about “formulas” in this space – it’s about heart writing to heart. That you do! God bless you Nacole

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