I have always been aware of the many flavors of Christianity in the world. They have puzzled me and at times greatly bothered me. God isn't confused I would say to myself but the many people throughout history cannot all be right: each group claiming to have the right doctrine or revelation and often in sharp disagreement one with another. So, how to make sense out of all this? For years I didn't. I trusted God to sort it out but yet it puzzled me.
Well, you see I have a dear aging relative who suffers from Alzheimer's. She lives in a facility that specializes in such conditions and she is well cared for. I visit her two or three times a week, it all depends on my inspiration and her need.
We talk. We really do. Increasingly though, she makes no sense. However, because I have known her for years I know, or think I do, when she is really trying to communicate, often I'll know from the timing and the look in her eye that it's either serious or humorous.
Yesterday was such a moment: I could see it in her eyes but it was coming out as an MC Escher painting; there was no real sense, no end point, no starting point either, just a detached string of perfectly recognizable words hanging in space and all in impeccable English. But those eyes and that face looking at me wanting to make contact. It touched me so and in such cases I always respond to her intent, not her words. She then always sits back content. Usually it's one of her flashes of humor so then I laugh despite the nonsensical pun and seeing that, she laughs too.
As I was leaving her Care Facility I was swarming with emotions from our visit. We had made contact in a meaningful way and it seemed central at that moment. Before I could even get to the coded gate, I heard in my mind God speaking as it were. Before I could argue or refute it, the thought shot into my heart somewhat like this: "I respond to the intent of my people too, their words are often spastic and even faulty but I see their heart and that is what I respond to."
The understanding came without all those words, very fast, very sharp and extremely restful. End of puzzlement for me. End of discussion. I hope this communicates. Eventually, it reminded me of the scripture in 1Samuel 16:7, though I had never seen it in that light before:
|"...for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." |