Fear of Falling
Those Christians. I see them, hear them, touch them, and sometimes fear I am not one of them.
They make God smile as wide as the east is from the west and shout to every living thing, “I’m free! I’m free!” And a fragment of the fallen angel punches my stomach and scoffs, “Free from what?” With my feet propped up on a footstool fit for a fool and five aces of winning wisdom up my sleeve, I marvel that they think Christianity is so freeing. They walk such a narrow path. Cramped. Constricting. Enslaving.
Could I walk like that, hobbled with such faith?
There is a sadness to that question, a mourning: salvation without a helmet for the sake of liberty. Politics-and-religion aside (you’re welcome), the rules, the rules, the sweeping loss of elbowroom in living and playing and talking and loving!
But I am one of them. When I swear, I swear it’s an accident. When I’m impatient or unkind, or slip to the edge of hate or rage, or seem to lose faith, I fear a fall, and there is a certain gladness about that fear. Fear is the warning: the seas and all the little fishies and big fishies and Jonah’s “whale,” all the rhythms and mysteries of our Creator’s living water preserved through the ages. Barefoot and cold on the shore, their collective breaths fill me with thankfulness for the fear.
I’ll stumble at times by my human need to ask questions that can’t be answered or yoked any easier than can the N.Y. Times Sunday crossword puzzle be solved, but God’s Words are deep in my heart and they keep me alive.
Recently, someone reminded me that the freedom Christians have is in the choosing and being welcomed into the citizenship of heaven, now and for all eternity. I’ll give up my murderous, alcoholic, drugged-up, hateful, impatient, sexually immoral, thieving, swearing, lying, and unkind self, for eternity in heaven. I am one of them, a Christian, raised up again to repentance.