Who Am I?

stnikolaivelimirovich2.jpg

I ask a sensual man, “Who are you?” and he replies, “I am I,” and he thinks of his body.

I ask a thinking man, “Who are you?” and he replies, “I see two sides in myself and I make my way between them, associating first with one and then the other,” and he is thinking of his instinctive and conscious soul.

I ask a spiritual man, “Who are you?” and he replies, “There is someone in the depths of my soul. I stretch out my hand to grasp him but see that to do that I would need arms longer than the universe. Ask him who I am.”

St. Nicholai of Zicha (Velimirovich)

One of the great tragedies of the modern world is that, as it seeks to define itself apart from God, it is defined as so much less than God would have it be. It is at this point that atheism or secularism are the least humanistic of philosophies. The gross inequalities that follow us all from birth – despite every government proclamation to the contrary – cannot erase the fact that some are born wealthy, some smart, some beautiful (all by the standards of the world) and that every survey conducted has to honestly admit that those people who may be so described get better jobs, are elected easier and are simply liked more than others. For the vast majority of people, life will not reward them with more than an opportunity to watch “the lives of the rich and famous.”

Only in the proclamation that God has become man is the value of being a man underwritten – indeed the value of being any human being. The God Who made us all has become one of us and in such a union has also united us to Himself in His exaltation. Compared to that exaltation, every human excellence is as dung. Whether beauty, intelligence or wealth – all will perish in the grave and become nothing more than the bread of worms. This is the gift of a world without God – worms.

But to the very least of my brethren, I can say, “God has not only created you in His image, but has predestined you to be conformed to that image.” Your destiny in Christ is to become as He is. I can say this to the ugly, the poor, the disenfranchised, the foolish, the stupidest sinner (people like me). For all are welcome.

What attraction, other than the weakness of a mere decades’ latest bout of “rationality,” could a philosophy of worms hold? For time has already proven that the “supermen” who seek to reign as gods (believing there is no true God) will treat the rest of us as worms – mere farms for the harvesting of our stem-cells – or whatever their godless schemes may next desire.

Better to see a child – the poorest of the poor – and say, “It would take arms longer than the universe to reach the depths of who this child is.”

34 comments:

  1. On the other hand…while atheism sees that life may have been a chemical accident, it allows room for us to create our own meanings.

    And why do my fellow atheists and you theists have such a hard time just least trying to understand the values and virtues the other side has? We may not base our values on any scripture, but we are NOT amoral nonetheless.

  2. Jersey,

    Of course atheists are not amoral. Many atheists are outstanding human beings. the difficulty is that there is no reason from within atheism to be moral (Dostoevsky: “If there is no God all things are permitted”). Many atheists, including some whom I know personally, are morally in far better shape than many Christians that I know. I will not deny it. But if their philosophy were to sweep the world, there would be, at least, intellectually, nothing with which to oppose the “supermen” (to use Nietsche’s term).

    I would be even more precise. In the language I have used elsewhere in this blog, I would make a distinction between Christians and Christian Atheists. There are many Christians who are functioning atheists. And I would even say there are some atheists who are likely functioning Christians when we look at how I have written about these terms.

    Currently, in America, we are governed by men and women who say they are Christians, though, by what I have written, they rule like Christian atheists. To say one believes in God is not a philosophical statement, but should be existential and actually make a difference in your choices and behavior.

    Thanks for the good question. There is a whole section in the pages area of the blog on “Christianity in a One Storey Universe” if you interested in what I have said at length in this distinction.

  3. Father,

    responding somehow to Jersey, I want to draw everybody`s attention to the word “honestly” in your post.

    If a person, any person in this world would take the trouble of being absolutely honest to himself or herself he or she will come to admit that there is a God. Otherwise there is simply no other explanation for the good things we still have.

    You don`t need special tools to discover things in yourselves. Try honesty for a while, ask yourselves as many whys as you can bear and even more and you will come if not to God than at least closer.

    God bless you all!

    If I am overestimating the importance of honesty, Father Stephen, please give us your opinion about its place.

  4. Milla,

    I would not disagree at all – but such honesty would require a great outpouring of grace. We never see the Truth without grace making it possible. This is why, ultimately our arguments are always futile. There is always something more at work than “just the facts.” There is my will, there is grace, there is my lack of a pure heart, etc.

  5. Jersey,

    One further thought. “Room to create our own meanings” is the language of the middle (and upper class). This is the confusion between your wealth (relative) and the choices it affords and the existence of God (you’re not Him). Hollywood is the perfect example of those who are “creating their own meaning.” They are dishonest and banal. In the face of true poverty and suffering the phrase, “create your own meaning,” is both cruel and meaningless. Poverty and suffering are difficult for us all. The Christian answer is found in the God who became poor and suffered with us for our sake.

  6. We are all that we see, hear, touch, feel, and experience. Our soul is divine and has the grace to animate our flesh. The flesh and the soul are one regardless of what mind/body split theories abound. Without one or the other we do not exist. Our brains retain the engrams of all of our combined experiences. It also contains a “God” section, but not necessarily in all humans. As we are all that is, all we experience and we live by the “grace” of the soul, ergo tear down the third wall. We are God as only “we” can experience that thought, that essence individually. The myths of man do little justice to the true beauty of the Divine Creator. Time itself is dependent on velocity and point of reference. To experience the reality of the Divine is therefore to become timeless, and trek beyond the existence of the temporal dimension of what we are now. I for one do not preach of what one should be worshipping, feeling, or quote human authors for relegation to good/evil, light/dark references that abound in every Pre-Christian religion known to man. Who am I? I am all that is, that I now perceive. My morality and ethics to my fellow humans is what defines who I am and I don’t need a Deity crowned by man to know that I will always treat those fellow beings the same way I would want to be treated. That’s a legacy worth keeping, the rest of the rhetoric creates walls and fences and discriminates and causes violence and wars for it’s inherent intent of declaring all others inferior by Divine command.

  7. Only moments,

    It’s interesting and you are clearly creative. But it’s just your own thoughts. There’s no reason to think them other than that you like them. I am the walrus. (This by the way is an uncalled for remark, and I apologize for it in a couple of posts down. Sorry.)

  8. You mock me because you cannot come to terms with what I am saying. You have no pat answers, just an agenda. “I am a walrus.” Very intelligent comeback to a serious conversation. And you wonder why people have a hard time taking your precepts seriously? Grow up. Yes of course these are my thoughts, did you even read the response? Thoughts are who we are and that was your title was it not? If you are not what you think, then you do not exist.

  9. Fr Stephen,

    Your second response to Jersey is really good. Having grown up in a mixed first-world / third world country, I can attest to that. I can also attest to the fact that much of what passes as philosophy or worldviews ar in fact so highly coloured by one’s personal environment that it becomes worthless.

    Your response to only moments is also good – since when are perceptions realities? His/her philosophy only works as long as they don’t turn inwards – then all turns to vapour. Sou you’re the walrus? I think burgundy is the right colour for the new charter, don’t you?

  10. I liked your response to “only moments”, Fr. Stephen, pithy and as usual, spot on.
    Engrams and all that other Scientology muck, is just that, muck.
    Only Moments, Fr. Stephen reads all responses and being prideful about oneself is just that the sin of pride. Don’t expect any cover here. We will love you as a fellow human being on the way, but don’t expect us to salve your hurt feelings when we don’t agree with your Scientology.
    Engrams! That just made my day…
    😀

  11. Father bless,

    Thank you for this wonderful(and powerful) post. I believe you have accurately framed the condition of Fallen Man in this world that awaits its Transfiguration at the return of our Great God and Savior.

    Just last night I posted this:

    http://molonlabe70.blogspot.com/2007/12/paul-rothemund-casting-spells-with-dna.html

    which ties in with this post.

    What, apart from Christ, can we look forward to? As you state, only death and beyond the grave the dying into deeper death. Frightening and lonely and dark. May the Lord have mercy.

    I would be greatly honored with your reading of my post (and your thoughts), Father.

    In Christ and in fellowship.

  12. Onlymoments,

    From the sound of your reply, you would like someone to meaningfully engage your thoughts posted above. You will need to clarify some items before anything of the sort could happen.

    1. You talk about ‘soul’ as ‘divine,’ but how are you defining these terms?

    2. You work from the premise “we are all that is,” but this isn’t accepted universally; you haven’t demonstrated why we should accept this major premise in the first place.

    3. You mention “‘grace’ of the soul;” you need to define what you mean when you say ‘grace.’

    4. There is an apparent contradiction (I say ‘apparent’) at work between two of your thoughts: “We are God as only ‘we’ can experience that thought, that essence individually.” But also, “The myths of man do little justice to the true beauty of the Divine Creator.” According to your method, what is the relationship between how you’ve defined ‘God’ in the first statement, and your concept of a ‘Divine Creator’ in the second?

    5. It would be helpful if you could define the source of the “morality and ethics to my fellow humans” that you mention. You have stated that you do not need “a Deity crowned by man” as this source–whence comes your system of treating others as you would be treated?

    6. At the end, you have not actually engaged any of the “rest of the rhetoric” you mention at the end of your first post, nor have you demonstrated how it produces the negative effects that you’ve listed. This lack of actual engagement of the points presented to which you refer is what you’ve decried in your second post.

    7. Fr. Stephen’s statement actually gets to the point of your argument at the end of your second post: “Thoughts are who we are…” If I believe myself to be a walrus, or Napoleon, or a psychosomatic construct, does that therefore effect an actual ontological shift? Father Stephen would say no (thus his point). If you think it does, you will need to demonstrate how this is so.

    These will have to be clarified if you are really seeking meaningful dialogue; otherwise, as Father Stephen noted, we simply have a web of self-assertions which can never lead to discussion.

    Looking forward to your reply,
    Lucas

  13. I need not your agreements or your permission to feel one with God. When are our perception realities?…Surely you are not that unintelligent. Your perception of God is what is- by your perception of what it is. Do not judge me because you do not understand what it is that I am or believe. You are the same people who would have crucified Jesus had you been back there at that time. Did you get his message or are you all hell-bent on putting down everyone that questions life with such questions as Who Am I? I do not sit in judgement of what God is, I allow His grace to flow through me. Live your life the way you want to, but to cast stones….

  14. Fr. Stephen, wonderful post, thank you! I agree with you, both in your posting and I also thank you for your thoughtful response to the comments here.
    There is a blessing also to be had, I think, in the broadcast of Preacher David Ring. He has cerebral palsy and you have to “listen close” to understand him sometimes, but he is surprisingly clear and reassuring in God’s love. Currently he can be heard on the Focus on the Family website’s daily broadcast with the title Victorious Living.
    You also are surprisingly clear, reassuring and encouraging of God’s love for us, Fr. Stephen, and the necessity for us to live in God. Thank you!

  15. Onlymoments,

    I read you comments, but it was frankly just full of random run-on things that are common cultural stuff. Engrams, for heaven sake, that’s star trek (though doubtless picked up by some california cult types). No there is serious work, based on serious reading and tradition and the practice of the Orthodox Christian faith. If there are questions fine. But there is not space here (or anywhere) to respond seriously to everyone’s private, made-up religion and philosophy of life. The website doesn’t exist to do that. Sorry you’re disappointed. Sorry if my “I am the walrus” was a bit too cheeky. It was wrong and naughty of me. I am not John Lennon.

    More to the point, I believe, as an Othodox Christian, that I do not know anything about the soul or the body or its place in the universe, or that we are only what we think, etc. I don’t know anything, actually.

    What I do accept, is the teaching of Christ, and accept that as a revelation from God, on the basis of which I have beliefs about the soul, the body, etc. But none of these things have come to me through my own observation. They have been given us by God, and the one moment of faith, is that I have accepted Christ as the revelation of God, as God become man, and have given myself to Him as His disciple. Not because I liked this or that aspect of Christianity, but because I was convinced in every possible way (intellectually, existentially, experientially, historically, etc.) that Christ is Who He said He is and ultimately that settled it. On that basis I have become what I have become. But I would have no basis other than that to discuss what someone thinks. That someone thinks something because its just their opinion tells me something about their opinion, but nothing about the subject of their opinion. I was wrong, and I apologize.

  16. I would like to say something that might or might not be helpful, but it means very much to me particularly right now in my life, so I hope I don’t offend either by my words or by indulging in publishing them here.

    onlymoments, it is precisely because I believed as you do that I am coming to Orthodoxy. But what I came to understand was that ultimately such a view is utterly lonely. You give to each of us our own universe. At first, the rush of god-hood in that construct offers ecstasy. But what you will find in that universe, no “other”. This word “other” seems to be (if I understand Orthodoxy correctly in this) a very important theological concept.

    For me it started without any particular concern for God, but rather a realization that even other things I called “people” didn’t exist. Everything in my universe was a reflection of self. The self is a powerful narcotic. But it is finite. So I began looking to the “other” because I found myself insufficient for my needs.

    This was first towards other people, but eventually it leads one to seek God. All from the desire of my heart for the “other”. You may not see this. You might believe yourself infinite, self-sufficient or independent. But the reality of living (farmers grow my food, my parents cared for me when I was young, my wife supports me daily with her love) is that we are quite dependent on others and it is a surprisingly small jump to realize that all of those “others” are actually the result of the ultimate “other”, God and Him uniquely revealed in Christ. The only one in all of history to say “if you have seen me you have seen the Father”.

    I believe His testimony.

  17. I sent the following as a private email, but in case it did not reach its destination I post it here and ask everyone’s forgiveness for breaking the rules of the blog.

    Onlymoments,

    I posted an apology on the blog. I did not mean to be so flippant or just dismiss you. I was wrong.

    Fr. Stephen

  18. This is the beginning of your post:

    I ask a sensual man, “Who are you?” and he replies, “I am I,” and he thinks of his body.

    I ask a thinking man, “Who are you?” and he replies, “I see two sides in myself and I make my way between them, associating first with one and then the other,” and he is thinking of his instinctive and conscious soul.

    I ask a spiritual man, “Who are you?” and he replies, “There is someone in the depths of my soul. I stretch out my hand to grasp him but see that to do that I would need arms longer than the universe. Ask him who I am.”

    I am a thinking and spiritual man but yet you do injustice to me still. I understand enough to know that I do not understand the great dimensions of what is Divine, yet you still do persecute because you do not understand the language that I speak. I am not full of pride, I do not see the “self” as the key; I see my Eternal Life because I have been there. I have been clinically dead and come back to the understanding of the Light of God, call it what you may, and you and the others can mock me and my words for as long as it makes one feel better, but I am secure in my faith, I have been allowed to come back and allow each day to be a miracle unto itself. I had no intention of hijacking this blog, I was merely answering your question “Who Am I.” Father you begin your first response with “It is interesting and your are creative” and then next respond with “but it was frankly just full of random run-on things that are common cultural stuff.”
    It is not my intent to make anyone uncomfortable and the swift retorts from those whose didn’t really understand comes from a defensiveness that shows a lack of faith in your own beliefs. I cannot be a threat to you, my words are not avatars to penetrate what you percieve as laws or notions of truth. I merely live my life loving my fellow man and knowing that God is within me. For this I am taken to task by holy men. Yes I could go blow by blow to answer questions 1-7 for Rdr. Lucas but for what end? I wasn’t attempting a word by word analysis of what it is that I believe and live each day. I am truly sorry for disturbing your text and will move on and not taunt (which is what it seems) anyone any further. I at least respect your personal beliefs but there is no room at the inn I see for my humble soul.
    By the way, an engram is an human electrical neurological current that makes marks in the brain that allows us to have memories, it is literally a scar on the brain, it is not of Scientology (that’s not a religion it is a brainwashing) and it is not a word used to intimidate anyone.

  19. I sent a response but I do not know where it went and I wish that I had copied it before hitting the submit button. Thank you for respecting my sensibilities, I in no way was trying to hi-jack this blog or show contempt but apparently my words have taunted and caused a slew of derision.
    I will go on no further. Thank you for your apology, it shows class.

  20. It just got caught in one of the filters and I freed it up. It’s frustrating when it happens. It filtered one of my own comments today (I should have listened to the filter).

    We’re not really a bad lot here, and we do listen to one another. I hold myself responsible for a bad example today. I started out the day sort of despressed and it has snuck out on me all day. I’m feeling better, but it’s probably better to stay away from posting on such days. I guess we all have them. A good day to you, though.

    I tracked back and read some of your story. You’ve obviously been through difficult moments and stretches, to say the least. The lessons learned in such times are worth listening to even if they’re in a language that is different than I know.

  21. According to Wikipedia an engram is:
    Engram may refer to:

    * Engram (neuropsychology), a hypothetical means by which memory traces are stored
    * Engram (Dianetics), a term used in Scientology and Dianetics for a “recording” of a past painful event not normally accessible to the conscious mind
    * “engram” is an international trademark of engram GmbH, Bremen, Germany

    Onlymoments:
    If I hurt your feelings, I apologize too, we tried to engage early on, perhaps in a way that was unfair. I did read one post that was thoughtful and tried to understand where you were coming from, I think you rejected it, and that is too bad. We are all free to take our ball and go home at anytime but then we only get to play alone. Never much fun.
    We are not saved alone, I pray you understand this one day.
    St Nikolai pray unto God for us!
    Fr. Stephen, incredible post.

  22. Onlymoments,

    I had hoped that, by asking the above questions, we could understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately, many of our shared terms do not have shared definitions–thus, much confusion. Second, we do not all share the same paradigms, so we have to start a conversation on a more basic level. My desire is to foster meaningful discussion through better understanding.

    -Lucas

  23. The absolute uniqueness of the Christian faith is in the act of a transcendent, infinite, eternal God becoming a mortal, horribly finite human being for no reason other than love. Our God offers us Himself in loving communion in a self-emptying act that many saints have likened to marriage, i.e. a willing submission to love so that unity may grow. We even get to retain our own uniqueness, our own identity, in fact it is enhanced.

    The non-theistic spiritual traditions of Asia require the abnegation of self and personhood as they are deemed illusions. The theistic and secular philosophies of the west emphasize the individuality of the human mind ultimately to the exclusion of God in many cases. Islam demands humans be slaves to the will of Allah.

    The longer I am in the Church the more amazed I am that the essence of the Christian faith—communion with a loving God, has been so obscured and distorted by many professing faith in Christ in favor of an enslaving legalism. It is no wonder that many flee from such a God. Those that flee the oppression and the distortion perpetrated in the name of Christ might actually find Him in so doing. I am continually saddened that they are driven to such a choice however because it is a harder road and one fraught with danger.

  24. I’d like to come back to Jersey’s comment that atheists “get to create our own meanings.”

    The idea of creating meaning, objectively, is a tricky one. It’s one of those neat statements that can engender a sense of personal empowerment but in practice might not say much, especially to the underprivileged, as Fr. Stephen pointed out above, but also to the more or less privileged one who finds himself all but obligated to live a certain way in order to maintain his privilege.

    I’m inclined to think this the idea of creating one’s own meaning usually means to the person saying it something along the lines of “we get to live for what we want to live for and believe what we want to believe” or that we get to ascribe our own value to things and people in the world as we see fit. In this enterprise, we may live for and value relatively worthy things and we may believe many things that are true. However, by adhering to what is worthy or unworthy (by whatever standard) or true or false (knowingly or not), we have not actually created any meaning beyond the private meaning of our thoughts, which can be true or deluded, and the “public” meaning of our words and actions, which meaning is not entirely under our control, even if the words and actions themselves are.

    What I’m getting at is that none of this is the exclusive domain of the atheist. The theist does the exact thing with his faith that the atheist does with his unbelief. Christians are just as free as atheists in whatever, if anything, is substantial in this business of “creating meaning.” The Christian is living for what he wants to live for and valuing what he understands to be valuable. The Christian has come to a certain conclusion about Christ Jesus, however, and that conclusion leads him to live accordingly, to the best or worst of his knowledge.

    This conclusion about Christ is no more limiting to the Christian than the conclusion of an atheist that he needs air to breathe or food and water to stay alive. Certainly, it might appear to the atheist that the Christian, who believes things that ostensibly limit his moral range of acceptable action or appear to run contrary to empiricism (miracles), must be somehow less free and must be locked into a vision of meaning that is somehow more restricted than that of the atheist. But in fact, both the atheist and the theist remain on the same equal footing in these regards as on the day each was born and on the day each will die.

  25. Father, bless. Thank you for the quote from St. Nikolai. He is one of my favorites. 🙂

    You wrote:

    “One of the great tragedies of the modern world is that, as it seeks to define itself apart from God, it is defined as so much less than God would have it be. It is at this point that atheism or secularism are the least humanistic of philosophies.”

    And then you went on to talk about something different from where I thought you might go. I would like to pick up on the idea that the modern world seeks. Yes, atheists and secularists fall far, far short of what God would have us be, because they seek to define themselves apart from God. But at least they seek (or many of them do). Modern seeking is, according to Fr. Schmemann, a result of a deep “shaping of the mind” by authentic *Christianity*. That atheists and secularists seek apart from God may also be of Christian origin. What is sad is that many modern “Christians” are no longer Christian in this most essential way. Having found “the truth,” they no longer seek. They fall even farther short. In the words of Fr. S, something changed, and the “Christian world” became “absolutized” — reducing the Gospel to a caricature of what it should be. It’s no wonder the atheists and secularists — who have kept a seeking mentality — reject Christianity (and God thereby). Absolutized, made static, a false Christianity no longer satisfies the seeker’s desire. So, have a heart for the atheists and secularists. They are more Christian perhaps than most of us realize. I would not call them the “least humanistic.” Worldly values and idols fail. Yes, they do. They become “bread for worms.” But at least among the modern anti-Christians there is continual seeking for *something*. How many Christians can say as much?

    I offer a passage from Fr. Schmemann’s “The World in Orthodox Thought and Experience” (in Church, World, Mission p. 81):

    “The results of that change [the progressive abandonment of the “Christian world” of its own eschatological vision] constitute without any exaggeration the greatest tragedy of Christian history. What it provoked was a progressive emancipation of the human mind — and of the “thirst” and “hunger” injected into it by Christianity — from the “Christian world,” and therefore their growing secularization, their rebellion against Christianity itself. Prevented from developing within the framework — religious, cultural, psychological — of the “Christian world,” blocked by the latter’s static self-absolutization, the human mind, shaped and inspired by Christian eschatological maximalism, began to see in the “Christian world” the main obstacle to that maximalism, a structure of oppression and not of freedom. The sad history of the divorce between man and his “search” on the one hand and the “Christian world” on the other hand, has been told many times. What is important for us is, of course, the indelibly “Christian” mark on the “modern world,” the one which grew out of this divorce, and this in spite of the world’s rebellion and, sometimes, apostasy. This is truly a post-Christian world because, in the last analysis, even the most secular, the most anti-religious and anti-Christian ideas and ideologies by which it is moved, are in one way or another — “des verites chretiennes devenues folles” (Christian truths gone mad) — the fruit of a secularized eschatology. It is the Christian faith which, by injecting into man’s mind and heart the dream — the vision — of the Kingdom of God, made possible the fundamental utopianism of the “modern mind,” its worship of history, its almost paranoic belief in a forthcoming kingdom of freedom and justice.”

  26. Tracy,

    Thank you. It is the job of Christians to, in some way, show the light of the Kingdom, so that others might seek. When we become the reason that others would not care to seek it is a frightfully sad commentary. Indeed.

    Schmemann, like Velimirovich, is one of the amazing reads of the 20th century. I have only scratched the surface of the things that are really good.

  27. I write this not with any agenda but to reveal a miracle or two and confess a sin also perhaps.

    I have a secret place in my soul i go to where i sometimes feel i become God. I see the world and I find I make judgements on matters that anger my soul and I speak out. stop this, it stops eventualy. Punish him, and he is some how punished. Send an earthquake and an earthquake comes and send a flood and a flood comes.

    I have another place i like to go beside the train tracks in an old railway siding, it is being allowed to revert to nature and it is one of my favourite places to be. When trains and quad bikes are not disturbing the peace that is, or kids settin ffires or fly tippers discarding old microwaves and other stuff.

    I walk amongst the trees or sit in a clearing and i talk to myself. inwardly searching and outwardly ranting as trains go by intermittently in both directions. How like people and lifes journeys. some go one way and some the other always noisy and hurredly, both direction cant be the right way yet both are for the people concerned. I am most comfortable sitting beside the track and waiting. patiently and quiet and running over the words of the bible.

    In this place i was upset because I love nature and nature is dying. I was angry at America so I asked the bees to Give up their lives to make the American people see that intensive agriculure and bad modern practices and over consumption in this world is killing the creation of God. The bees died.

    The Idea had come because i had heard of parasites killing bee colonies.
    I understand the importance of bees to the planet and hate the death in a can for insect control which is realy “make my life more comfortable at the expense of the insects” in a can. I realised i did not see many traditional bumble bees in the area any more ane I asked God let a new colony be started here for me God to help this envoiroment revert to nature and be more fertile. Or words to that effect.. and a few days later I saw a curled leaf, held together with a silky thread in like a hamock or boat shape. sitting in it I saw a Queen bumble bee being mated by a tiny little drone. David attonbourough hunts and explores at great cost to see such things and document them. I only asked God to help set up a colony and he said in His own way.. I heard you Bob.. I said “in his own way” because i heard his voice only once in my life that I’m aware of and the rest of the time I hear the Legions.

    I was troubled by nats in the same place and sitting smoking ( yes I’m foolish) I said in my usual rant to God or myself I get the two mixed up these days, “Send some bloody dragon flies will ya cos these bloomin things” and a few minutes I saw three buzzing around me. magnificent because I had never seen dragon flies there in the few years i have been going.

    I ranted one day how annoying it is that we have stripped nature of the natural creatures that should run freely for us.. “there should be deer here I said” I never saw the deer. A few days later i was walking there and i got chatting to a dog walker. He said “hey You never guess what I saw here a few days ago.. a Bloody baby dear running down the tracks”.

    When ever I am in my times of hopelessness I or despare or longing God manifests a miracle. I always fail Him but he never fails me.

    I always bumble like the bee when i think I should be doin something for Him or making the world better. I make mistakes, I get things wrong. But God always answers my prayers and pleas and requests and DEMANDS AND COMMANDS. It’s true evry word.. and my mind is so messed up with the awe of Him and the wrong of me and the world I hate evrything because I love and care so much.

    I try not to care and hate more but I can’t. I don’t want this Gift I have because it’s so powerful it’s become a curse for me.

    Theres good and bad in all people but not compassion and care in all.

    Thats the flaw with creation. Unlike nature which is competetive and cruel and bloody at times, people are worse. We add malice to the mix.
    fighting to defend and fighting to protect and even fighting from fear could all be excused. But fighting for greed and power and malice thats the sin. In my eyes at least…

    I have failed to sow peace in this world of wild crazyness so now I sow peas by the track to grow flowers to feed the bees and insects and pods to feed the mammals and birds. I Know God exists and good exists because I’ve experienced it. I know faith is real and of worth. that can never be taken from me because I experienced it.. what I wrote here is just the tip of the ice berg. But despite all that. I have arived at a place in my heart and mind because of the hate people have shown each other and me that I don’t want God to save mankind. I don’t believe Humanity is worth saving with what we have done to each other and the planet.

    So Unless God has other plans or unless those of faith and those without those who believe and those who don’t start working together on a solution or shake hands over dinner to hammer it all out. I personaly will be sitting salvation out from now.

    well except for the occaisional grumble, bumble and rant.

    God bless the world and Humanity.. your gonna need it. x+

  28. sorry in addendum.

    In all the above I thank God and appologise to God and ask forgiveness..

    GLORY ALWAYS TO GOD>> even for evil I say because without evil,, we would not know the greatness of God and what we could be..

    thanks.x+

  29. Robert,

    I understand your inner thoughts – but disagree that there is a gift to ask for bad things and they happen. Such power is not given to us (certainly in prayer). We cannot ask God to do evil things and then see Him do evil things. God is God, and we are not.

    May He have mercy on you and help you and give the grace to your heart that you clearly ask for. It is hard, and yet Christ on the Cross spoke words of forgiveness for all.

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