Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The TMI Files. Touching God.

I've been thinking about posting on this for quite a while now. Like months.

Today I was following links through a few blogrolls, and came upon this post from Miguel.

I've never met him, never seen his blog before, but it is a beautiful post and it gives us plenty to think about when we think of our Faith.

Miguel misses his Faith, and I believe a lot of people do today, particularly in a supposedly Post-Christian world.

There are so many hurdles we face as followers of Christ. So many insults and offences that we let slide off our backs like so much water.

And when we do that, it is like capitulating to the class bully, and the taunts grow harsher.

Here in Victoria, we have the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act of 2001, which does nothing to foster tolerance. I can't recommend highly enough that people read this draconian piece of legislation. It has been used in particular as a club with which to beat Christians.

The Two Danny's" case is the highest profile case to spring to mind, but there have been other cases - such as the one where a convicted felon takes the Salvation Army's Alpha course and decides that it discriminates against him as a witch and a wiccan.

There are more cases out there, but those would be the two most well-known.

With cases like these, where it seems that Christianity itself is on trial, it is no wonder that people find their Faith sometimes falters.

How can such a loving God allow society to crumble to the extent it has?

In my mind, it is because He has given us Free Will. We have the choice to follow Him or not.

If we follow the example sent down as the Son, then God will look after us.

If we go against Him like recalcitrant children, then we will be treated as children.

So men have turned their faces from God, and instead towards a Godless existence, where what is important is instant gratification with negligible accountability.

This has lead to situations such as those Miguel spoke of, where even priests do not seem to follow God and His example any more.

I'm not a very good follower - far from it. I try to stay on the path, but I've fallen off it plenty of times, and will no doubt do so again, but I'm getting better at it.

I've also found my Faith is getting stronger, and I have never had occasion to regret coming to God.

The picture I've attached to this post is the Sacred Heart of our Lord. I have had it for nearly 20 years, and it is around 80 years old. I've had it laminated as it was getting a bit too fragile for my moving house every couple of years, and the blutack also was a bit harsh on the paper.

It is always on the wall in a visible position. In the House in the Heart of Bogan Central, it is on the wall opposite the front entryway, so when I walk in the front door, it's one of the first things I see.

I like knowing Jesus is with me.

I lived for years without God; my parents were non-religious. Dad agnostic and Mum atheist, but they still had us kids baptised. I gave up trying to work that one out, and just see it as one of those things.

Then one day, I got the Call.

Actually, it was a bit lot more involved than that.

I was in a particularly dark space in my life, and one day, for some reason, I was drawn to this image of Jesus. I'd seen it in the front room of my then-partner's house every time I was there, and I saw nothing special about it. Okay, he's got a picture of Jesus in the front room, that's his thing, no big deal.

For whatever reason, one evening, I walked past the front room, and found myself walking back the way I came.

I walked into the room, turned on the light, and was drawn to the Heart.

All the cliches you can ever imagine are inadequate to describe the sensation I felt.

The proverbial "bolt of lightning" is one that springs to mind.

Exhiliration, exultation, ecstasy, rapture, all spring to mind also.

I guess the way I describe it to myself is that God wrapped His hand around my heart and everything suddenly turned the right side up.

This is difficult to talk about, as it's something I consider intensely personal, and times new roman can never convey how much it affected me.

Enough that I dropped to my knees in this room.

Enough that I cried for a long time afterwards - nearly an hour.

Enough that my life changed forever, and in ways I never anticipated.

I cannot comprehend how people can choose to live without God.

I think that's because I have been touched, and the more troubled the times we are living in - think the Middle East and Iran, the sexualisation of children by the media, the continuing onslaught on Western Civilisation from within and without - the stronger my Faith grows.

I have no idea why God chose to touch me, but I give thanks every day for Him.


At 2:59 PM, Blogger MK said...

Stay strong Nilk, if anything take comfort in the knowledge that he's always there, he'll listen to you whenever you want to talk and he'll understand when you just don't feel like it.

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a very good follower - far from it. I try to stay on the path, but I've fallen off it plenty of times, and will no doubt do so again, but I'm getting better at it.

I've also found my Faith is getting stronger, and I have never had occasion to regret coming to God.

Same here, Nilk. And yes, the more crazy the world gets, the more thankful I am to God and His Church.

Great post!

At 6:46 AM, Blogger W. E. Messamore said...

I'm glad to hear about how God brought you to Him.

I wanted to add to your assessment of the persecution the Church faces. It could very well be as you say, that we are reaping what we have sown by turning away from God as a culture and civilization.

But do not discount that even with a strong and genuine faith in God, the Church will face persecution, perhaps even more intensely.

In areas of the world where the Church is much stronger because it is a new arrival, places like China and India, where the Church hasn't fallen prey to post-modernism, the persecution is far more intense than what we face in our post-modern countries.

Sometimes I'm tempted to pray for severe and violent persecution in the United States, because such a trial would sift out the genuine faithful from the pretenders and strengthen the Church.

When wondering where God is in the face of trials, the best thing to do is stay in Scripture. The people who wrote it felt the same way and probably more intensely than we do. The Psalms are a great comfort to me because they are so real and so anguished.

I'll keep you in my prayers, Nilk.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Dee said...

Nilk, I'll be praying for you too. Your post made me think about my own parents and how I often take them for granted. I can see a beautiful thing happening in your life, I hope you don't mind my saying. Draw closer to God because you're a fighter and you're being drawn for a higher purpose for a unique role in this darkening world.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Thanks, guys. :)

I am drawing closer, I know that, and my faith grows stronger. Sometimes it's almost palpable, and it's difficult to put into words.

I just htought I'd post this because I know there are people who do struggle with doubt, and when you consider the ridicule we are often subjected to.....

Patience is often difficult to hold on to.

I recently got told that the people I go to church with are Jesus freaks.

The person who said that has crossed the line many times, but in the interests of peace I've bitten my tongue.

No more.

I pray for patience and the strength to walk away more than anything else it seems, but there are things that are unacceptable, and that is one of them.

It will all work out one way or t'other, though, so I can live with that.

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous me! said...

Great post Nilk.

I was at an amnesty international anti-death penalty dinner recently and the (six year) president of amnesty australia described christians as "crazies" and spoke highly of Clinton's abortion policy. (Clinton vetoed a partial-birth abortion ban - where birth is induced then the emerging baby's head is crushed with the feet still inside the mother so it still isn't technically born.)

Don't donate to Amnesty.


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