“If God were small enough to be understood, he wouldn’t be big enough to be worshipped.” (Evelyn Underhill).
Then, remain small enough Lord. That’s my prayer. Remain small enough for me to know you. Small enough for me to feel you. Small enough for me to hold you. Small enough for me to see you. I want to put away the sense of faith once in a while and see you with my own eyes. I want to see you through my organic vision, not through spiritual sight.
I can do without faith on those occasions when I am struggling with it. And I struggle with it most when I feel you are hidden, silent or distant. If faith is the substance of things hope for or the evidence of things not seen, then I want to stop hoping and start seeing – in the flesh. I want to see you in all your splendor and glory. I want to see you running the universe. I want to see you interceding for us. I want to stand by your side as you work and not be a bother.
Even at the risk of going blind, I want to see you. Even at the risk of my fragile mortality, I want to see you. For how can even threatened death stand in the way of that infernal desire? How can mortality remain so in the face of immortality?
I therefore plead with you to drop your invisibility. To uncover yourself. To be my burning bush. To be my pillar of fire. I do not want faith to get in the way of us. I don’t need that middleman. It often plays with my mind. It sometimes keeps me in suspended anticipation, on tenterhooks. It leaves things unsaid what I think needs to be said. Faith is the darnest thing.
With faith, I am confident and confused all at the same time, found yet lost, free yet bound. I believe and doubt. I am hopeful and hopeless. I am strong and weak. Faith has kept you an inscrutable mystery from me. It has darkened my glass - half-filled but never full. Faith is the great teaser, the toyer of emotions, the metaphysical Gordian knot.
With faith, I see but an image of you, and a shifty one at that. It is like a hunch, a flash, a whisker, a wisp, a whisper, but never the full picture. It’s like me holding just a few pieces of the puzzle and faith has deliberately kept the rest – locked up somewhere I will never find. And with those limited pieces, no matter how I arrange them in desperation, it will never capture the whole you - but just a fragmented you.
I want to see more Lord. I want to feel more. I want to touch more of you. I am not satisfied with just believing or keep believing. I am not satisfied with what people tell me about you – or their mystical encounters (which are wholly and suspiciously exclusive). Even reading what they wrote about you in the long forgotten past doesn’t come close with one brief encounter with you in the flesh. At times, I just want to put aside faith, hope and everything that stands in my way of you. I want to open my eyes and run to you. I want to go rogue, break all protocols, formality and rules. I want to dive into your arms. I want to get lost in your embrace.
It’s actually a simple request. It’s actually a simple plea from a redeemed son to his doting father. For why should I ever settle for a shadow of you when you are much more than that? Why should I settle for anything less, or anything so unnecessarily encrypted?
Honestly, I can do without the prosperity as promised or the blessings forevermore or the mansion prepared for me. I can do without the peace that surpasses all understanding or the joy that becomes my strength or the eternal hope that awaits. I can trade all that as my inheritance in a blink of an eye just so that I can see you. It would be worth everything in this world and the world to come for me. To see you face-to-face would not only be life-transforming, it would be life-surpassing. My joy would then be complete, truly.
So if smallness retires or suspends faith for that brief moment in time, but compromises nothing else, neither your sovereignty nor your omnipotence, then remain small enough Lord. This is my earnest plea. This is my simple prayer. This is my invocation for all time.
But alas, I know at some point in time, I must let go and let you be God. I cannot impose. I cannot demand. I cannot throw a fit like a child throws tantrums. How dare I? If anything, I am small enough to know that I am small enough. And in my smallness, you nevertheless reached out to me in your own perplexingly incomprehensible way. Maybe I have to accept that I cannot wish for one without losing the other. Maybe to know you is enough. And that’s good enough.
In the meantime, I will just have to submit to faith. To give in to that theodicy’s teaser, that toyer of emotions, that spirit whisperer, that shape-shifter. I guess it somehow bridges the gap however imperfectly – for now at least. And whatever I don’t know, I will just have to accept that I don’t know. And what I don’t know I don’t know is best left to the one who knows all - for now at least.
In other words, I have to accept faith by faith. I have to let faith complete its work in me. This is the journey I have chosen. It’s a fate I have taken. It’s no doubt a long road ahead. I will just have to finish it, persevere. There’s no other way this side of heaven. The compromise is to accept the glass half filled, see through it darkly. Perfect understanding will just have to wait when the perfect comes. I guess faith will make sure of that. That’s my hope, I hope. Cheerz.