Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Just when I begin to think that I understand just a small slice of God's grace, I find myself back at the beginning -- in a state of confusion. (See my conversion story for a description of the two-week period of total confusion that ultimately resulted in belief.) Physical things happen to me that I do not understand. Mystical things happen to me that I do not understand. Where are these experiences supposed to lead me? Or, am I supposed to sit tight and let their transforming power affect me alone? I just don't know. So, at times (many times), confusion reigns.

While I am grateful to God for the three unexpected, undeserved, unexplainable-by-doctors healings I have received in the past four years, more than anything else they have left me in a state of confusion. Why would God intervene in my fate in this way? Am I supposed to be doing something as a result of them? If the latter, I am not doing a very good job of it. When I talk about what happened, I am met with skepticism although two cases are documented in my medical records (which, of course, I do not carry around with me, thrusting under the eyes of the skeptics). So, I end up confused.

When it comes to mystical experiences, i.e. God's direct involvement in my spiritual development, I find myself even more confused. Are these personal, intimate gifts for maintaining in a private relationship or are they joy and knowledge to be shared with others? If the latter, then I do such a poor job that I have to think that any other person would be a better choice as recipient of such gifts. Again, when I speak of such things, with the exception of a few people who are highly spiritual, I meet with sheer incredulity. So, again, I am back at the beginning in the state of confusion.

Perhaps I should simply accept such grace as an unconditional gift of love from God, nothing more and nothing less, a gift that God gives to sinners and righteous alike, to believer and to unbelievers, even if human logic has difficulty "computing" that and human morality demands that only those who have "earned" God's love receive it. Perhaps I should accept grace as it is -- given not earned, undeserved, and unconditional -- because, in reality, there is nothing else I can do.

Perhaps I should accept my state of confusion as a gift, as well, and stop searching for clarity based on a human understanding of motivation. Perhaps I should not worry whether people consider me sane. My state of confusion in a way I cannot explain (right, I was going to stop trying to explain and clarify) brings me closer to God. Should that not be enough? After all, my life is not about me and the importance of my understanding clearly rather than "seeing through a glass darkly;" it is about God. That much is clear. I shall try, then, to value and love my state of confusion for it has been given to me by God.


  1. Elizabeth,
    I can understand this confusion since I am often in this state, too :) I just read the story of your healings. (I was on vacation when you posted them and must have missed it.) My first thought was how kind and loving God is to help us so much! I know some people have a hard time believing in such things but for many of us stories like yours (whether it be healings or other experiences that cannot be explained on a worldly level) are uplifting, faith building, and point at the goodness of God. Thank you for sharing them.
    There are always going to be those who roll their eyes and wonder at a person's sanity and I'm sure Jesus, too, experienced this. After all, He dared call himself the son of God and this appalled many people and pushed them out of their "comfort zones". Sometimes I don't know what to share with others and what to keep to myself. My guess is that the truth of God's goodness is meant to be shared and can only help people because that is the nature of truth. There are probably a few things that should be kept to oneself if they are difficult to discern but other than that I can't see what harm there would be in sharing your stories. They are inspiring.
    I had to smile about wondering if people think you are sane :) Your practical, "just do it" nature comes across strongly to those who have read your blogs to any degree (lol)!

  2. Thanks for the insights and encouragement, Mary. I do have that experience with my son, who, in a kindergarten class on professions years ago, announced that his father was a photographer and his mother an eccentric. His teacher laughed all the way to the phone to tell me about it!