Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
I know, I know. It’s been too long since the last update. Well, the referee took a week, and then sent an encrypted message. Although Shannon and I have been playing Sherlock Holmes with testicular cancer terms for quite sometime, we still were unable to crack the latest code. I’ve sent the report to my Vanderbilt doctors. I’m counting on them to decipher it. I wonder whether they’d be offended if I included a magnifying glass with the letter.
This process wears on me. Thankfully, I’m learning to feel my feelings. Seems easy enough, but not quite so. During a previous blog entitled Heart Check, I shared about how anger tip-toes beneath my surface like a firework waiting to be lit. Plenty of explosions occur. I’m learning, though, that something floats below the rage. In fact, according to Chip Dodd, rage and anger, though often posing as twins, actually have no relation. Below my rage is fear. Rather than fully acknowledging my fear and entering into it, it’s so much easier to rage. I want to deny my fear. Fear is scary, vulnerable, and requires faith. I’d rather be in control. But then I’d miss out on God.
I learned something this week, something very cool. God’s first question to humanity occurs in Genesis 3:9. Adam and Eve sin, and their hearts flood with guilt and shame. God simply asks, “Where are you?” God is not stupid; he knows where Adam is physically. What if God is inquiring of Adam’s feelings here? What if he’s asking about the state of his heart? Adam’s answer reveals his own feelings of fear, shame, and guilt. And so I wonder if we can ever really relate to God without bringing our heart.
I will confess that worship rarely occurs for me during the fifteen minutes allotted on Sunday mornings. My mind wanders, judging others, looking for life elsewhere, thinking about football. But yesterday I decided to answer God’s question, pretending it’s directed to me. “Luke, where are you?” “I feel fear, God. Tons of it. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I want answers from doctors. Sure answers and a treatment that will heal. I am consumed with fear.” And then the tears came, and then something strange and unfamiliar: worship. Helpless, but not hopeless, worship.