The Cause of Spiritual Stupidity

How is it that ye do not understand?

— St. Mark. 8:21

Dost thou not believe God good enough to care for thee? I would reason with thee to help rid thee of thy troubles, for they hide from thee the thoughts of thy God. The things readiest to be done are not merely in general the most neglected, but, even by the thoughtful man, the oftenest postponed. But may a man become strong in righteousness without first learning to speak truth to his neighbor? Shall a man climb the last flight of the stair who has never set foot on the lowest step? He who does the truth in the small thing is of the truth; he who will do it only in a great thing, who postpones the small thing near him to the great things farther from him, is not. We are like the disciples in the boat, anxious over their one loaf, yet with the Bread of Life at their side. We too dull our understandings with trifles, waste the heavenly time with hurry. To those who possess their souls in patience come the heavenly visions. When a book has been borrowed from me and not returned, and I have forgotten the borrower but fret over the missing volume, while there are countless on my shelves from which the moments thus lost might gather treasure; am I not like the disciples?

Is it not time I lost a few things when I care for them so unreasonably? This losing of things is of the mercy of God; it comes to teach us to let them go.

Commentary

by Leah Bond

Do You care for me,  God?

Do you really care about my suffering and my loss? My fear and my pain? Where are you? How can this, the story of my life crumpled and broken, bring you glory?

I sketched a picture some weeks ago, of a room. A lovely room. A safe room, in a safe home, made so by the safe, loving friends whom it belongs to. I had not much more than the boots in this sketch, and the "shirt on my back." I had lost my home, I was now gaining knowledge through experience of injustice, loss, homelessness, and brokenness.

I began to ponder homelessness. Earthly material displacement, I discovered, can be the quickest path ushering us into the Fathers bosom. I slept that night, in a bed, but more so I slept in my Fathers bosom. We find home in the heart of the father when every idea of home without the father is lost. Mercy indeed. Always this is true, yet we continually drift into the spiritually "blinded" stupidity, by the lack of, or plenty of bread in our hands, material stuff for our material life.

The other theme of the passage, of Christ's word pictures and work on the cross, is brokenness leading to abundance and blessing. Christ broke bread and multiplied it. Through brokenness he shared his life with us.

I went to the mountains soon after, to breath deeply of frankincense oil, meditate as I hiked up a mountain, and pray and wait for a word from the Lord. He brought me to Isaiah 58. True and False Fasting... How I was humbled!

"Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD? "
- Isaiah 58:5

I had been a bit like this, after suffering injustice and loss, I had cried to God looking for him to show me he truly noticed, as though He would not if I didn't complain? Then He told me what to do with my self during this time, this is what Christ wandered the earth being, in humble beauty full of grace and truth....

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? "

- Isaiah 58:6-7

The blessings of engaging in loss and brokenness and needs of others in midst of my own loss...

"Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." 

- Isaiah 58:8-11