Lawless hearts, Heartless laws

Sebaliknya orang Yahudi sejati adalah orang yang berjiwa Yahudi dan hati mereka bersunat. Semua itu dilakukan oleh Roh Allah dan bukan oleh apa yang tertulis di dalam Taurat. Orang seperti itu menerima pujian daripada Allah, bukan daripada manusia. (Roma 2:29; Alkitab Berita Baik)

But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and [true] circumcision is of the heart, a spiritual and not a literal [matter]. His praise is not from men but from God. (Romans 2:29; AMPC)

Your heart is also uncircumcised (or has become so) because inwardly you struggle to relinquish. (Relinquish what? You don’t quite know. Control? Sin? Hurt? Anger? Bitterness? All of the above and none of the above?) You know the Law cannot save you and yet, sometimes all you understand is the Law, the Word, the Taurat, which tells you you should not understand this, you should condemn this, you should not act this way, you should not be this way, you should not, not, not.

And all you want to say is, but I am. What are you doing to do about it?

(You repeat there is now therefore no condemnation over and over in your head, though you wonder: Is there a limit? Is there a point where Jesus just says, “you know what, f* you”? And maybe that would solve your conundrum. Yet you know He won’t so you’re back at square one.)

How dare you call yourself a writer when you cannot put yourself in another’s shoes? When you cannot even try to understand the words they are trying to say to you, the anguish they are pouring out because you asked?

But all you see is a way to push your understanding of the world on others, to say that because I do not see it that way, you should not either.

And I am angry, because I see.

By this all men shall know that you are My disciples, that you love one another — yet you cannot love. Because you cannot see.

Yet neither can I, because I am angry.

Hal itu demikian, kerana orang berbaik semula dengan Allah, bukan dengan mendengar Taurat, tetapi dengan melakukan apa yang diperintahkan oleh Taurat… Kelakuan mereka menunjukkan bahawa apa yang diperintahkan oleh Taurat tertulis di dalam hati mereka. Hati nurani mereka pun membuktikan hal it, kerana fikiran mereka kadangkala menyalahkan and kadangkala membenarkan perbuatan mereka. (Roma 2:13, 15; Alkitab Berita Baik)

For it is not merely hearing the Law [read] that makes one righteous before God, but it is the doers of the Law who will be held guiltless and acquitted and justified… They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written on their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them]. (Romans 2:13, 15; AMPC)

I used to know what to think, but I don’t anymore.

There’s a balance between being and doing, and finding it is like grabbing at smoke. One day, you think you know where you’re at. You’re doing alright, you’re keeping the commandments, you’re doing what’s right, you’re being that bloody goody two shoes Christian.

And the next, you’re floating.

You’re floating because what’s supposed to be the right reaction to wrong feels wrong in itself. The distinction of right and wrong, black and white, isn’t so clear anymore. Isn’t so assured. You’re mired in swaths of grey and you don’t know which one’s whiter. Or if it even matters.

Everyone you see who seems so sure of themselves, so certain of their righteousness, also seem so harsh in their superiority, their hate, and their refusal to understand.

And all you can say is I cannot understand what it means to be you, but I can understand what you feel.

Conflated, conflicted, confused. A maelstrom. There is no coherence to this post; my thoughts are fractured. I have thought about this, about God, about me, for a long time, but I have not put it down in words for far too long. I cannot find a focal point, a linearity, a distillation.

It is all conflict and concealment, because there are things I cannot admit to myself in words. And yet:

Oleh itu, menurut Berita Baik yang aku khabarkan, hal itu akan berlaku pada Hari Kiamat apabila melalui Yesus Kristus, Allah akan menghakimi segala rahsia hati dan fikiran manusia. (Roma 2:16, Alkitab Berita Baik)

On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God by Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal (hidden thoughts). [Eccl 12:14] (Romans 2:16; AMPC)

God help me. I’ll admit it, to myself, not to you.

But maybe if circumcision is of the heart, and is of the Spirit, it doesn’t have to be so complicated.

Maybe these workings in your soul that cannot be understood is part of the circumcision, the cutting away, the pruning. Stripping away hatred, layering with acceptance, veneering everything with a soft sheen of understanding. And maybe sometimes the harsh lines of the Law need to be scrubbed out, washed away, so that the soft underpinnings of Grace can be scribbled in.

And maybe, just maybe, you need to understand, even if you are ashamed, because no one else is willing to. Though sometimes you wonder if this is merely an excuse to keep on going down that rabbit hole.

It is hard to tell.

The heart is deceitful above all things, after all. And the people you confide in only enable you.

You know their conscience works better than your law, their works more productive than your faith, and you wonder — what use then is this Law except to show me that I won’t follow it no matter how hard I try to convince myself?

[I have written the law on their hearts. But your heart is dead and shriveled.]

And one day, I will look back on this post and have no idea what I was struggling with as time shrouds everything in mystery. So maybe if I need the reminder, I will just say this: Love Wins. Lives Matter. Stop. Running. Away.