So it's Monday. The man in our earlier illustration or the woman in our commenter's illustration, has gotten up. They have had a cup of coffee or tea and they are suspiciously eyeing the lightening sky. He reads a passage from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening. She from another devotional. (i don't know her, so i don't know which one.) They check facebook. They peruse the news. They realize all they are doing is trying to distract themselves from IT. From Monday. From the lightening sky. From the solid, cold fact that another day dawns and they are going to have to figure out how to spend it. How to live in it.
Then they realize something else. This is not all they are trying to distract themselves from. They are trying to avoid talking to God. Why? They have no drive for the day. They have no hope for the day. They have no daily bread this morning. The manna doesn't seem to have fallen last night. There was no revelation. No miraculous change of circumstances. He's still working a job he hates. Her child is still dead. When they count their blessings this morning, life itself doesn't feel like one. It feels more like something to be endured. They know this is wrong. They know this is a lie. But it's cold and bitter and extra sugar and religious platitudes just make it cloying.
They need something REAL.
Words. Words like Faith, Hope and Joy. They ring hollow. They seem like taunts. Why? "Why Lord?! You have promised us these would be good gifts You gave? Why have i been excluded?" they cry. Ah, finally. Their pain, their suffering finally brings them to the Father. And though they don't hear the words, they somehow hear the answer.
"Why indeed. These are the fruits of the Spirit. Given to all healthy branches." The voice they do not actually hear says.
"i am not a healthy branch."
"This is true."
"Why do you think?"
"Because i have no faith, hope and joy!"
"Isn't that more the sign you are not a healthy branch than the cause?"
"Yeah, i guess so."
"So why do you think you don't have them?"
"Cuz...i guess, you didn't give them mmmhmmme."
"I'm sorry. Couldn't quite make out your mumbling there. Why again?"
"Cuz you didn't give them to me?"
"Right. Why is that, ya think?"
"This is going to take a lot longer than it needs to."
"Cuz you didn't wanna."
"I love you. Why wouldn't I want to give you good gifts?"
"i dun... umm, cuz....i dunno."
"This is true too. But you think you do. Why don't you just say it? Go ahead."
"You won't get mad?"
"Cuz...cuz you're mean."
"Aah, man, we've been dancing around that festered splinter for a while now. Because I'm mean. Yeah. Why do you think that?"
"Well, (You gave me a job i hate and can't get out of.) (You took my child!)"
"Yes, I did."
"Yeah, well, that wasn't very ... nice."
"Am I good?"
"Am I good?"
"Yeeeah, i guess so."
"How do you know?"
"Well, you died on the cross for me and forgive my sins and stuff."
"And have I ever left you? Are you an orphan?"
"No. But I feel like one! Why did you do this to me then if you love me?"
"Why indeed. I love you. I will never leave you. I am good. You don't feel my love. All who remain in my love grow fruit. Yet you don't see my fruit growing in your life. Hmmm. Weird."
"Maybe i am not actually, not connected to your, i dunno, your love...or something?"
"Hmmm. Interesting thought. See where that takes you."
"Well, maybe i was trying to draw life from somewhere else?"
"Well, that would be weird. I am the source of life. Where else could you draw life from?"
"(From work and significance...) (From being a mother...?)"
"And if I blessed that, what would you have become?"
"No, you don't. And i don't ever want you to. It's something terrible. Something I would do anything to spare you from becoming. You are my precious child. How I long to teach you so much more, I long to fill you with my love but you won't come to me. Not truly. Not with your heart. You've been coming to me asking for what your heart actually wants. The broken cistern it's been trying to draw life from. And it's not me."
"I'm so sorry. How do i change that?"
"You don't. You can't. The heart you have will always want what it wants. You need a new heart."
"How can i have a new heart?"
"I must give it to you. I will melt your heart of stone and give you one of flesh."
"Please do that, Lord! When can we start?"
"We've already begun."