I kept using the word “crazy” to define myself when I was with my spiritual director. She knows my history with bipolar disorder. She knows I hear from God. She, unlike my former minister, doesn’t freak out when I say that. She doesn’t like it however when I say I’m crazy. She thinks my difference is a gift. She thinks that God made me this way on purpose, that it isn’t an accident and it isn’t a handicap.
She asked me recently to ask Jesus what words he would use to describe me. When I did, instantly I got back these two words:
My reaction to this? That again? You have to be talking to someone else. Nobody is going to believe me.
Then I think of Moses, arguing with God. He didn’t want it either. He kept trying to get out of it. Moses was one guy, untrained, with a speech impediment. God told him to go in front of the most powerful person in the world at the time and ask him to free thousands of people. God was asking him to liberate people from a tyrant.
With no army.
With no diplomatic skills.
With nothing, except the word of God.
God called to Moses from a burning bush. He didn’t send an angel. This was a bush on fire, yet it wasn’t being consumed by the fire. Sounds like a hallucination.
It all sounds crazy, right? Yet it happened. Why can’t something like that happen now? Why wouldn’t it? If we believe in an active and living God, then we have to believe that God still talks to people.
Why does God call amateurs? Why not call the experts? If God keeps working through the amateurs, why become an expert? What is the point of becoming ordained? If “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called” as is frequently said, then it means the call is more important than the preparation.
God made the waves part for the Israelites to escape from the Egyptians. God made water come from a rock when they were thirsty. God made bread for them too.
Blessed are you God, who makes bread come from the earth. This Jewish prayer said at every meal where bread is served. It is a reminder of the manna from heaven. It is a reminder that God provides for us all the time. We didn’t buy or bake that bread. God gave us the ability to buy it or bake it. God made the grain grow from the earth. Sure, somebody planted it. But God made it happen.
If by my faith I am healed as Jesus says throughout the Gospels to people, then I want to believe that God has called me. I want to believe that I’m not making this up. I want to believe that the voice I hear is God’s voice. I want to believe that it is real.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 4:4 that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.
Now, Jesus is the bread of life, and the Word.
When my spiritual director tells me I am amazing and special, I think that she tells that to everyone she directs.
Sure I’m special. And different and unique. I stress that to everybody how special they are and that they should celebrate their uniqueness. And then I have a very hard time fully believing it myself.
Perhaps my hesitancy is part of it all. Perhaps God needs me to be certain of my call. It has taken me a lot to tell ministers of the call I first heard when I was 12. It took me a lot of self convincing before I even told a minister. I had to convince myself first. There were a lot of walls that had to be overcome in my own heart first.
Why not believe that Jesus has made a home in my heart? Why not believe that I am called to build a new church?
What is the danger of believing this?
Embarrassing the church. Leading people away from the truth. Having them be mislead. Like David Koresh. Like Jim Jones.
Going so far that I am discredited, that the message is not heard.
But, then I think, if the message is from God, it will get out. If it really is of God, it will happen.
I ask to not get in the way, and to be the way. It is both at the same time. God made me the way he made me because he needs me this way.
My diagnosis means I am mindful and careful. It means I ask for guidance and for oversight. It means also that I self limit. This is good and bad.
I’m still upset that the place I asked for training and oversight didn’t know how to handle me. But then again if I am to do something new, I can’t follow an old pattern.
New wine, old wineskin, and all that.