Let me Grieve in Peace

It happened, as I regretfully suspected to be unavoidable. I have lost a friend. One who lived within the sphere I imagine to segregate my friends from mere acquaintances. She had helped me experience a wonder of beholding a significance we could not understand, as we contemplated the Lord and his participation in the Triune Godhead.  She had protested the dangers of power unto arrogance, which binds into pragmatism a neglect of the oppressed. She had facilitated cooperative theological reflections free of vain rivalries. There was a world of ideas to explore, my first year at Bible College. And, she condescended to help me embark.

She had been abused, spiritually and emotionally. From time to time, I see parents who remind me of how I imagine hers to have been: self-righteous, steadfast in cognitive doctrinal propositions, and concealers of emotional chaos. Something of rage reminds me that I have yet to understand God’s grace toward humanity. But perhaps her experience of hardship attracted her to my case. While I remained of little use to the world, so she had shown compassion. But, the abuses she had experienced may have also precipitated her rejection of Christ. Still, we were friends.

I glimpsed this day’s approach with regret. We disagreed from time to time. But I resisted the day when our divergence of perspective would necessitate an act of distancing. I tried to control the situation again. I concealed my public witness for fear’s relief. But fear still encroached from other sides until more relief accompanied my exposure than secrecy.

Some see this as a moment of demarcation. They say: “Now Benjamin has experienced loss for the sake of Christ. Now he bears his cross!” They are celebratory as though my own hand brings about my participation in the rejection of Christ. They are smug as though my own righteousness is justified. These are the same who protest the oppression they perceive leveled against them and remind us of their right to religious freedom. They have no capacity for intimacy with God in public. Their emotions uphold their own causes. They have no need for God, but many uses for “him.”

They do not comfort me. I reject their words of ignorance. I have lost a friend.

“Will You restore her?”

Let me grieve in peace, or join me in this prayer.

Replications of Vanity

To the King with whom I alluded to an illusion of intimacy now eluded:

Your servant Elijah could claim a zeal for you — you alone.

Your servant Job could claim righteousness — and so the epistemic might of collective friends remains subject to ontological right.

And your own lips could beg that cup to pass on.

But I have abandoned my zeal; I condemn myself; I withdraw my will refusing to conflict with yours, let alone submit to it.

Will you not damn Judas? And why does He wish to be damned? Does he have no fear of God? Will you deliver the traitor, or does this comparison flatter me in another replication of vanity?