i know i write a lot about the Bible.
i do it because i am surrounded by the most interesting, most well-read and brilliant minds, but they refuse to read the most misunderstood tome ever.
sometimes the devil wins.
i do it because i am the least interesting, least well-read, confused mind, and i am fascinated by it.
for a so-called book of propaganda, page after page reflects a basic human condition: rebellion.
either corrupt leaders are rebelling against What Is Obviously Right, men are cheating on their wives, the powerful are enslaving the poor, or the privileged are refuting what they have experienced in favor of what is poisonous for them.
ignorance, fear, foolishness… whatever their motivating roots, in the Bible, just like in life, people themselves are often their worst enemies.
and the devil wins.
some propaganda when chapter after chapter tribes and cultures would rather make wooden idols and pray to them instead of following the God who oversees miracle after miracle.
some propaganda when the Son of God appears and is ridiculed and mocked and shunned by even those who see him work his magic up close.
some propaganda when there is rarely an ah-ha moment by any of the main characters in the New Testament, and those who were faithful are portrayed as insane, criminal, and whores.
i believe the Bible because it keeps it so real that even the impossible to believe parts don’t seem so wild because what is more confounding than to constantly listen to the devil in your head instead of the angel in front of you
ride or die.
critics say God shows very little love for his people in the bible: he floods them, shuns them from the Garden, plays deadly games with them, asks them to Believe with zero proof
and i agree there are very few scenes where Jesus or Moses or David takes a child or a hater or anyone on his lap and strokes their hair and says, “I love you so much, I wish I could connect with you, I wish you could see what I see when I see you.”
but the Bible isn’t a cheesy movie. it isn’t Hollywood. it isn’t all the phony baloney melodrama we’ve grown accustomed to. it is a reflection of real life, real relationships, and real struggles and rarely do those include some poetic soliloquy
and ironically there are very few come to Jesus moments.
what there is is a general theme of patience.
God is frustrated by his creations from the first couple and then again by their kid who kills their other kid. and on and on and on.
At first He’s like fuuuuuuuck these people and wipes them almost all out, but realizes that isn’t gonna solve anything. and the rest of the book is about God trying his best not to slaughter every last asswipe himself.
but damn if the devil doesn’t win page after page after page.
without even trying.
just by being there.
just by being Bad.
humans are so attracted to Bad and Fear and Sadness and Misery in the good book – and in life – that they feel more comfort and safety in it than with Love or Peace or Unity or even being a good neighbor.
every ugly violent act is portrayed in the bible – while beauty is rare.
but when it does happen it startles even Jesus.
one of my favorite stories, which seems ridiculous out of context, but when framed by all the suspicion and confusion of the Gospels is when a woman makes her way though the throngs to get near Jesus.
for 12 years she was, basically, a hemophiliac – she couldn’t stop bleeding.
she thinks to herself, “if I can just touch him, I will be healed.” so when she finally gets close enough, she touches the hem of his clothes and she is instantly healed. he can feel it all through her body.
Jesus felt the power leave him too and turns around and says to the crowd, “who touched me?”
some wise guy said – and im paraphrasing, “bro look around at this giant crowd, everyone is touching you.”
but the woman, knowingly, but afraid, gets on her knees crying, admitting it was her.
and Jesus, in one of the most loving moments he will have, says,
“because of your Faith you are healed. go in peace.”
the devil doesn’t always have to win.
he wins a LOT but not always and sometimes it’s the smallest things that we are all capable of
that can bring healing to our lives.
but what the story of the bleeding woman teaches me is
sometimes you just have to walk,