“We continue to expect Garden of Eden faith in a Garden of Gethsemane age. And without a framework for processing disillusionment, we treat our add-on assumptions as proof of what we know. . . . Such reasoning gives more power to the add-on than the truth. We wind up keeping the illusion (I know how a loving God should behave) and dissing the reality (God is love).”- Alicia Britt Chole
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”- 1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)
In Chapter 7 (“Between Illusion and Reality”) of The Night is Normal, Alicia Britt Chole asserts that the space between illusion and reality can be like a no-man’s-land. Yet, we create problems with our tendency to fill in the blank after what we “know in part.”
As a result, Dr. Chole stresses, we assume from what we know. Rather than what we actually know. Consequently, that sets us up for the loss of many illusions. Especially when we confer the spiritual weight of truth on those illusions.
Furthermore, in A Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis explained our temptation to bail on God’s invitation to grow. Lewis wrote:
“My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the truths of His presence? The Incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not.”
In conclusion, Dr. Chole observes, we resist the night, trying to push it back with the feeble light of human understanding. However, at some point, we must choose what we love more and where our faith resides. Do we place our faith and love in God? Or in our own understanding?
Today’s question: Do you expect Garden of Eden faith in a Garden of Gethsemane age? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the October Short Meditation, “Only ten seconds away”