Author Steven James is a great story teller. He wrote a book called Story: Recapture the Mystery. Tucked away in this little book is a poem that I feel cleverly captures one of the greatest reasons as to why this world is often filled with such bad news. The poem is entitled boxing god and is
Come here, god. I’d like to keep you in this little shoe box. I’d like to pull you out whenever I need you and put you away whenever I don’t. Come on. Climb in.
There you go…now, let me just slide this lid over the top and…okay, now, I’ll just set you here in the closet and keep you handy for a rainy day…
Hmmm…I have to say, I didn’t think you’d fit so easily. I actually thought I might have to really pound on you to squeeze you in there.
Imagine that. Pounding on you to make you fit! Ha. How funny is that?
The tragedy is that many people do not know what to “do” with God or any notion of Him. I suppose there are many reasons, many of which I would imagine have less to do with Jesus Himself and more to do with His followers. Either way I think that James is on to something in this poem. And what he is on to, I believe is quite subtle.
It isn’t God we are boxing in. It is the good news of a redemptive and restorative love that we are putting away. But if in our hearts and minds we allow God to simply be Himself (no matter how disorienting), it is the good news of a redemptive and restorative love that we receive. And when we receive it, we can enjoy it. And if we enjoy it, we will unleash it by demonstrating tangible acts of love, mercy, and hope to others in the name of the One, the Lord Jesus, who made it all happen through a blood stained cross and an empty tomb. Now that is good news in a bad news oriented kind of world.
Let God be God.