Monday, July 23, 2007

"To this silent God, I have nothing to say."

The title of this entry is a quote from the character Cyrus Manning in the book Leaving Ruin by Jeff Berryman. I am 50 pages away from being finished with the book. Last night's reading revealed a theme that I'm all too familiar with...a silent God. It seems that Cyrus feels abandoned by God. This is a feeling that I know only too well. You see, Cyrus is in a position where his life is falling apart. (I won't reveal details for those of you who want to read the book...and you should!) He has dedicated his life to serving God and, just when things start to fall apart, God goes mute.
I can relate. Several years ago, I found myself in a similar situation to Cyrus. I was dismissed from the church I had served in for 4.5 years with no warning whatsoever. Grab your stuff, we don't want you here anymore, get out...just like that. Needless to say, I was devastated and went through every possible emotion one can have in that situation. But the thing that devastated me the most was God's silence.
I never was much of a "go to the prayer closet" guy. I was more of a "pray without ceasing" guy. You know, just chatting with God throughout the day. After this event, my chats got a little more intense. I ranted, screamed, cried, name it and it probably came out of me at that time. But I got nothing in return. I even got to the point where I was saying, "Okay, so maybe you don't want me to be a minister anymore. So, what do you want me to do?" Again, nothing. After awhile, I just stopped talking too.
It's been 3 years and change since that event occurred and God went away. I still look for Him occasionally and, every once in a while, I find myself praying even when I don't really want to. I've moved on but I feel like there's a big part of myself missing, like something came and took a big bite out of my soul. Perhaps God is still there and I never knew how to communicate with Him in the first place. Perhaps I was a victim of denominational culture like so many people I know today. Perhaps I need to relearn what this whole God, Jesus, Bible thing is all about and not let the Baptists, Episcopals, Churches of Christ, Catholics tell me what it is. But, to be honest, right now, I just don't care enough to try.
Leaving Ruin has reopened some wounds that weren't completely healed in the first place. I'm glad I'm reading it but I don't know if I'll ever be able to pick it up again. It just hits too close to home. Now, let me leave you with another quote from Cyrus.
"How hard can it be for a God to speak?"


Sarah Burch Gordon said...

God has not left you or forsaken you, you just can't see Him- for whatever reason. Good thing I can.

adam said...

have you read blue like jazz by donald miller? if you haven't then read it. don't worry, it's not sappy feel good about yourself b/c your christian or anything like's raw and honest...