When we ask God to move a mountain, God may give us a shovel. – Shane Claiborne
Learn To Forgive – The Creative Series – Part 7
David of the Old Testament was a complicated man. I’m not sure he was the knight in shining armor we often hear preached about from pulpits. But perhaps because of his many transgressions, through his poems and writings in the Psalms, he has given expression to the human condition not many other historical figures can rival. He was so many things rolled into one:
Forgotten: by his family.
Protector: over his sheep.
Worshiper: through song.
Writer: poetry and Psalms.
Warrior: a giant slayer and army general.
Strong: with Saul.
Weak: with Bathsheba.
Murderer: with Uriah.
Grief Stricken: over his lost child.
Negligent: with Tamar.
Betrayed: by Absalom.
He was a sinner, saint and everything in between, all mixed into one. In some ways, he represents us all.
In Psalm 51, he cried out to God after taking Bathsheba for himself and murdering her husband:
“Start over with me, and create a new, clean heart within me.”
And if I listen carefully, I don’t just hear David, I hear the age-old cry of collective humanity: “Can we start again?”
Does God still create?
Yes. Every day, in millions of different ways. His work is not drastic and obvious. He doesn’t move earth's mountains and shut down governments, or open doors for help and aid that are closed to those who need it; he doesn’t write the recipes we need to cure cancer and mental illness across the skies; he doesn’t kill evil people or resurrect good ones. He’s not a magician, or a dictator, or a biased judge.
He takes broken things, worn out lives, old stories, and breathes new life into them. That's what he did for David. That's what he'll do for you.
His creativity happens in real time, in the middle of our messy lives. His work is lifelong and relentless. And he uses US; he creates in US – you and I – the answers to the problems that we face. This newness – this resurrection life that Christ talks about, the good news that he came to deliver – happens while we learn to forgive each other, love one another, and love and forgive ourselves. As we seek out answers and cures, as we help widows and orphans, as we seek to hold governments accountable to the benefit of ALL its people… It happens in the trenches, in the life that we live day-by-day.
“When we ask God to move a mountain, God may give us a shovel.” – Shane Claiborne, Red Letter Revolution.
I wonder what we’ll do with it?
Make yourself at home in the tension of “being made new.” Of picking up your divine shovel. Of being a work in progress. Embrace the dissonance between brokenness and wholeness. Embrace the questions and the holy rebellion. It’s in this place that creativity lives and breathes and paints beauty throughout our lives.
“He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” (Col 1:18-20 MSG.)
All. Things. New.
Written by Lizzy Milani