Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Theological Simpleton says Sorry

What good can it do to discuss the mystery of God the Trinity in learned terms if you lack humility and so displease that God? Learned arguments do not make a man holy and righteous, whereas a good life makes him dear to God. I would rather feel compunction in my heart than be able to define it. If you knew the whole Bible off by heart and all the expositions of scholars, what good would it do you without the love and grace of God?
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis

I had a fight with Olly today. Thing is... I am a lazy swine... and I need to acknowledge that she's working full time now and I have to haul my big, fat weight more than I do.

Her words cut deep into me... and I have been ruminating about them all day. Love expressed through words only is empty and shallow... Love expressed through actions holds meaning that defies definition... that goes beyond words!

Simple things mean more than "romantic gestures"... making dinner... tidying up... washing up... mean more than red roses and chocolates.

Anyway... this isn't about my uselessness... other than to publicly say I am sorry to Olly.

I have started reading the Christian classic :: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis :: picked up somewhere and haven't read it... and, well, saw it on the Jesusland blog (see previous post) and it spurred my interest.

The quote I used is from the first page... well, it is, after all the intros and stuff.

I love the line :: I would rather feel compunction in my heart than be able to define it :: and it got me thinking about how we express our love for God... especially in context of the Theological Simpleton.

God doesn't just want our words... He wants actions too. Don't get me wrong... His grace is a gift that we could never afford... nor deserve. Our actions do not bring His grace... His grace is for all regardless of what we do.

God wants me to express my love for Him... not just say I love Him but to do something about it. Its about the application... not just the acknowledgment.

Olly doesn't want me to tell her I love her... she wants to see it in action! Not solely in the dramatic one-offs of romantic love but in the simple... the everyday... dare I say... the mundane.

God wants the mundane. We need to live lives of love... down to the very mundane and ordinary. Walking the dog... Washing the dishes... Helping our neighbour in what ever way he or she needs.

Consider the people Pernell interacts with on a daily basis... people who...
  • Crap their pants during church. Smell terrible. And haven't the sense to excuse themselves and go clean up.
  • Have job interviews and come in looking for you because they need a pair of pants, because they don't have unsoiled pants to wear at the job interview you've helped them prepare for.
  • Just need to eat a meal, or get a hug, or talk with another human being.
Pretty mundane... and yet essential. This is the soup, soap and salvation of now... just as it was in Booth's day. Practical. Pragmatic. The common sense application of love.

It seems ironic to quote from a theological classic... and I kind of like this:
Many people go wrong because they are more eager to acquire knowledge than to lead good lives, and so they bear little or no fruit. If only they showed as much determination in rooting out sins and ingrafting virtues as they do in debating, there would not be so many evils and scandals among the laity, nor so much lack of discipline in religious houses. When the day of judgement comes, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done, not if we made fine speeches, but if we lived religious lives.
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis

Think about it... keep it simple... and honey, I am sorry!

Although I say this after making dinner and then tidying up ;-)

2 comments:

littlelaughalot said...

Thanks Thomas. One of the ways in which I can show my love for you and the girls is in tangible ways like keeping the house clean and tidy and in good running order. With the job and everything I am still trying to do the same amount as I was able to do before but in less hours and it's exhausting at times. I usually just keep my mouth shut when I feel frustrated and try to just get on with it, but as per usual it comes to a point, like today, being loaded with the cold and still trying to battle on, that I had to get things out.

I'm thankful for you making dinner and clearing up. Believe me there is no joy in having to ask you to help out more...I don't like to hurt your feelings....but there has to be honesty in any relationship...and at times I feel the amount of stuff I juggle is gone unnoticed.

I have always said that love is action. It has to be shown to be felt. Words can seem empty if they are not backed up with actions. I know without a shadow of a doubt that you love me...but a nice surprise (like coming in tonight to you finishing the ironing) is to me a greater sign of that love.

Thank you for blogging about this. I appreciate the very public apology. love you
Olwyn
x

John said...

awwwhh.....looking forward to seeing you guys! :-)

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