September 16, 2009

It's 2:38 am. God.

It's 2:38 am on Sunday, September 12, in San Agustin, Ecuador.

I sit in my bed, back errect, covered in blankets, and wearing my brown wool beanie.

I cannot sleep. My back hurts so very bad. I lay in bed playing Sudoku on my cell phone, tears streaming back down both cheeks to my ears.

And I finally get out of bed into the cold bedroom. My feet danced quickly as I ran to grab my iPod without losing too much body heat. I take a second pain pill and then another pill to help me sleep. I am too overtired from too many sleepless nights to go without a sleep aid again. When I do not sleep enough, my fibermyalgia flares up in my joints big time.

I am back in bed, now with music. The first song is lively, delicious Salsa. I choose to skip it; I need something tranquil to induce sleep.

And the next song is acoustic. Delicate.
"You are so beautiful."

This love song to God meant much more to me today than it would have two weeks ago. These things, the beauty of God, the enormity of God, the complexity of God, these have been circulating in my mind. Not because I want to be "holy," nor that I am deliberately meditating on these concepts. I simply want to know.

I want to know why it is that God is eternal. Why He is beautiful. Why He cares.

But I want to know how I know these things, and not "because the Bible tells me so."

More fundamentally, my question is: Do I know these things?

I am beyond tired of Christian-ese, the jargon, the repetition. I know the songs, in both English and Spanish. They kindly repeat Bible verses, which has greatly aided me as I am rather dreadful in memorization. I know the words, the phrases. But what do they mean?

My mom came to visit me in May. We had an amazing time running around the coast of Ecuador and visiting an Andean village. I loved speaking with her. This time is so precious to me and we have a much deeper relationship now.

But something else happened. I would tell mom about an issue I was having. About faith, or feeling lonely, or some other facet of life normal for any person to have difficulty with. Not to mention living with no friends from home for six months!

And Mom's answers were the lovely, trite memorized responses.

The words she said are in the Bible. It's like when we Christians face any situation we whip out a band-aid: A Bible verse or a quote from our pastor.

But what if I don't know what she said? What if I have heard the phrases so often, what if I have simply repeated these phrases as my own salve to soothe my human wounds... But without actually treating the root problem?

I have treated my anxiety with words for too long. "For I have not given you a spirit of fear...' Yet my anxiety returns three minutes later, or never leaves me for a moment.
Repetition of these words has been ineffectual.

After a few attempts of beginning to share my heart with Mom, I realized I only spoke two or three sentences after she paused me and gave me the "solution." I eventually broke down in tears. I needed my Mom, a friend, a hug, empathy. Someone to listen. And I received yet
another Bible verse, or "truth" of God.

But where is the reality of her words??? It all seemed so shallow.

What must I do to encounter God?

I must know the answer already. I have attended too many church services, gone on too many mission trips... I even produced a DVD on Christianity ( )
I know the answer is inside of me. Not in a humanistic way, but in that I have experienced Him before, and our relationship "worked."

I do not expect to conceptualize God. To fully experience any of His attributes.

(Right now my iPod plays "Change me on the inside... There's only one way I can finally break free.")

And this has been my prayer - that I be changed from the inside. Recently my journal has been full of this desire. HOW can I know about God? Man cannot tell me. I must experience Him.

There is no other way. Because, frankly, I don't believe what a man tells me about God. How
would man ever know when he can only recount his experience.

We humans have given God so many names, categories, descriptions, and analogies. I loved one portion of the book "Mister God This is Anna." Anna said that Holy, Perfect, Just, and Beautiful are not descriptions of God.

Rather, it is exactly the opposite. Man's words can never describe God. We lack any capacity to ever comprehend Him, much less describe Him. Our words will never be sufficient to describe His magnitude, His fullness.

And so, God describes Holy. God describes Perfect. God describes Just and Beautiful. We can never know what Perfect or Holy mean without knowing God. He is the point of reference.

I want to know God.

I am reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. My mentor Doug Comstock gave it to me when we shared breakfast just before I left the States. He knew I am going through a change in how I approach God. The jargon, the packaged view of God... I cannot accept this.

And now I slowly read the pages about God's attributes. My short letter now returns to its start: The book speaks of God's attributes. About how He knows everything, how He is completely powerful, how He is eternal. I don't know how to process these.

(I pause to read just in my bed. My back is still killing me.)

And so as I remind the staff members at San Agustin how to say "Good morning!" or "Thank you!", my mind continues to consider these thoughts. I am so glad that they gnaw at me. So glad that my being is driven to find some sort of change for the better.

Right now my life is simple. I have absolutely no commitments. None. Good grief - I am at a five-star hacienda, eating amazing food, breathing pure air, far from human's noise, and in the sunshine. And yet I am still anxious, still breathing shallow, and my mind is still racing. I am not at peace.

It could be a side effect of a medication. And yes, I absolutely need to take this specific medication.
One CouchSurfer talked with me about how our whole selves need to be cared for... And that perhaps because I was / am not having sex my person is unable to be in stasis. Interesting thought.

Other than these, I can think of absolutely no other reason my body is in such a poor state other than my spirit's unrest.

"For I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind."
God, make this my reality.

(My iPod plays "Jesus, I will hold nothing back from You.")

It is 3:22.

God, make You my reality.


  1. Glad you're doing well :O) Lets do lunch when you get back!

  2. Your words are so deep Rosie, nice post. I hope you will find all the answers in your heart. GBU.


  3. Thanks for sharing that Rose. From what I´ve experienced of and with you, I´m sure you´ll find peace. You´re a beautiful person, though you should really stop glorifying the eating of pigs :p. Take care of yourself.


  4. T- I wouldn't exactly say I am doing "well." But I am seeking. Lunch would be lovely.
    J- Thank you. Read my most recent post. Back in Manta soon! What is GBU?
    R- Thank you as well. And I just told 1,400 people that I don't (usually) eat pork!!! Gimme a break!

  5. these are good questions . . . it's good get deeper than the memorized responses. it's good to get to the heart and soul and ask yourself "what is real? what do i really believe? what is true? HOW do i know?"

    these questions are hard. most people are afraid to ask them and will try to shame you from seeking. they will try to make you feel like you are doing something wrong, that you are doubter. but i think you are doing something right. i think that you are wanting what is right.

    because sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing.

    you have a restless spirit? i think it is because you cannot be satisfied by living a life that is easy or commonplace or simple or rehearsed. you MUST live a life that is true, that takes advantage of all opportunities, that is raw, real, honest, and that changes the lives of others around them for the good.

    and this is a hard and sometimes very lonely life. because it will take you far away from people that you love for a long time. maybe forever. you have to pursue what is right? that might be a lonely thing. but it makes the reunion times that much sweeter.

    while jon and i are out here in RI, our core group of "soul mates" are spread all around the world, mexico, japan, all over the states, africa . . . but it means that when we do get together, we make the most of it. we don't waste time with petty things. we get right down to the nitty gritty conversations. we snuggle and say "i love you" and all the important things that need to be said will get said. because we don't knwo when it will happen again.

    we would love nothing more than to be holed up on a farm together forever. secluded from the world. livin in utopia. but the world needs us now. the people i love are creative, fire-in-the-belly, change-the-world kinds of people. it would be selfish of me to keep them near me all the time . . .

    but the separation hurts. my heart is lonley. i cry for no reason sometimes. the pain now is part of the joy then.

    how does this all fit into my idea of a god? i don't know . . . i am currently working that out as well.

    much love to you rose! you are a strong and courageous woman! the world NEEDS people like you!

  6. GBU means, God Bless yoU, so God Bless You Rosie

  7. 'trite' knocked me for a loop.....'tried' and thus foung true haps the case?!........ band-aides work!,... keep out infection, hold in salve and bring effectual healing!..... to know HIM is personal . anothers experience with HIM may seem shallow... to you. Truth is often very simple...child-like like.......the compexities there-of endless...eternal....but basic.. simple. not sure i'm with your take on Anna. .. . GOD is Perfect, Beautiful, PBJ yu Yummy...and Holy. ...and as into, onto and thru... as intimate and knowledgable we may get, if even a 1000 years were had to delve HIS riches.... t'would be but a hint of a whisper of a waft...of a micron of the vastness that is GOD!... ...and who am i that this Great GOD is Mindful of me..?...put's me on my face....humbled and awed...a feared... ..yet revelling that HIS Mercy, Grace and Love are Lavished on me..Me... ... Son of HIS Purpose and Plan!!! ..the 'jargon', ...the 'christianese' just that.. unless You know HIM!... then 'they' become descriptives relating the truth of experience, faith and hope...that Sure and Knowing variety. p.s. watch out for that surfer that thinks sex is the salve for a statis self.....something i journalled eons ago seems fitting ...'sex as salve sucks' ! p.s.s. Look for HIM everywhere.....then delight!

  8. hey baby. just wanted to say hi. hi.