Thinking theologically is a purposeful thing. Where is God in this? How is the Spirit at work in that?
A couple of days ago, two dear friends sat ’round a table with me. As we sat, I spilled all the multicolored, odd-shaped and “brutiful” beans. Brutiful, ah yes, brutiful, as Glennon Doyle calls it. Such is this life — a fusion of brutal beauty.
These friends of mine listened deeply, just as I needed them to listen. They were ready to chew out an ear or two, just like I wished I could. We drank and ate and wept and laughed and drank some more. Just like I needed us to do.
Where is God in this? In girlfriends around the table, being real, being gritty, being human and being spiritual. All at once, this is where God is.
Where is God in this? As the old hymn goes, “We share our mutual woes; our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.” Somehow, in the midst of my tears and pain, they are able to unveil theirs, as well. Blessed be. Blessed be the tie that binds, indeed.
Where is God in this? Job’s friends take on a different dress and hairstyle (several centuries removed), offer some quite different words of wisdom, but ultimately embody that Emmanuel-thing of “the best is this: God is with us.” Job’s friends did well by him. They came to his side. They empathized, weeping with him in his suffering. They stayed by his side, keeping silence. Job suffered intensely, unimaginably.
Friends do this. They come. They weep. They keep company with you. Mine diverged from Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. They did not try to do theology on me. They did not try to work out words about God. They just reminded me: God is here … at this table … in this food and drink … in this talk … in these tears poured out. God smiled.
Is the Accuser at work? Yea, verily.
Did the Body of Christ show up on State Street on a soggy Saturday? Yes, indeed.
How is God at work in this?
What is the Spirit doing in this?
What is Christ creating in this?