Saturday, July 02, 2011

Restoration, and training my heart to dream again

Restoration is a fight, a fight to believe, a hoping against all the horrors of the past. It kinda reminds me of William Blake: First one sings songs of innocence, then songs of experience, then at last songs of regained innocence.

I've been watching a Korean reality show called "We Got Married." In it, one famous celebrity is "married" to another famous celebrity and they live together for a long time.

There is a character on it who made me feel suddenly very old. He is very like Ben in Onion and is the kind of person I would have liked to have married. Funny, chatty, a shyness and yet an openness to life, an eccentric streak. I got very weepy watching it and had to go for a walk. It was weird feeling so suddenly too old to have had that perfect marriage with that perfect person. After a while I stopped watching it because the overpowering sense of loss was too much. But it got me into rewriting Onion again.

This show is really affecting me and making me commit to old age and mid-life crisis. There is all that romance, communal friend/family thing (after all, all the nation was watching the show) and Luke and I never had that in our family, the hottie Asian guy I now have a crush on, the holding to God's ability to restore, and this feeling of untetheredness I'm enduring because we will probably soon have to move to another town because of the job and money situation. Dare I believe that God is able to restore my life?

Haggai, the prophet, wrote:

Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?  Haggai 2:3

Ezra (the second Moses) wrote,
And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 13So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.  Ezra 11:10-13

Ah, to rebuild, to rebuild, to rebuild. What mental energy and hope is required? A part of the soul feels so tired and so fearful...and then there is the comparative mode? Will I live to see restoration completed in my life? I'm already so old.

I also got to thinking of my YA Onion. That's the other thing. I developed this weird attraction to Asian guys late in life so now that I'm old I really can't daydream about some wonderful cute Asian guy. It's a past I didn't have and a future I cannot have. Plus I love my husband. But I can return to My Life as an Onion with a renewed  love of this Asian crush thing. (Why is it that so many romance writers have had such bad issues in their romantic lives? Is that why we write romances, to put our fantasies on the page, to make them real in some weird way for us?)

All this makes me think: Am I willing to re-group? Am I able to believe that God restores all? (Including son's health and our money issues and health issues?) Am I able to see life as a work-in-progress even now? I can be such a depressive that it takes a lot to commit to the idea that one can be restored to a beautiful life.

Once again I think of this order Jesus gave his disciples:

12Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 13But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.  Luke 14:12-14

I always used to wonder why a person would invite poor people to dinner. Sure, there's the whole feeding them and returning them to the community thing but I see now more and more clearly that in order to bless people we have to force them to see what a good life might be like. We have to let the drunk and the poor and the outcast and the maim see what it is they are missing. Perhaps they will learn to dream again. Because it's in dreams that faith can work.

I'm thinking of Nehemiah chapter 4 where the builders also carried weapons. Perhaps when (and as) we creatively build our new lives, we should also be on the defense against ancient enemies. Will ponder that. Restoration is not a totally carefree "I'm gonna dream" kinda thing. Restoring involves looking ahead and at the same time looking back at those demonic/cultural/environmental things that want to stop the restoration. And we're trying to restore God's temple...which is our bodies, our lives.

Oh Lord, teach me to hope and to dream again. Remove despair and tiredness from me. Make me see wonders and dream of wonders again. (No need to add the hottie Asian, though. I still have hubby...and my character Ben in Onion will do.) Thank you, Lord.

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