There is freedom only in an ontologically unfinished universe.” – Zizek
have you ever run into a book without an ending? a book that doesn’t come to fruition? have you every heard a storyteller stop half-way through the narrative and end there? have you run into someone who has ever been jilted by the fact that there was no closure in their previous relationship?
we live in a world that almost thrives on the need for closure or an ending. we like happy endings in particular. this is why hollywood makes so much money, we want to believe that happy endings exist. that happy means all things work out as they are meant to be.
i think the problem with that is, is it doesn’t always work out the way it should be. and trust me, i am a romantic at heart. i want and believe and crave the pseudo-happy-endings. heck, i am an idealist!
but let’s be honest, life is more like a beautiful piece of quilted patchwork. the colors don’t always match. the lines acrosss the quilt don’t always line up. and it might be shorter than we anticipated. but, it is life.
what if christianity was meant to be more like the the quilt and less like the hollywood endings?
if we learn anything from the interaction between jesus and god on the cross its that god isn’t the end-all-to-be-all. god isn’t the roof to our house. in fact, god is the one who removes the roof to our house. when jesus, in deep physical agony, cries out ‘my god, my god, why have you forsaken me?’
jesus is saying ‘god you have let me down’ or ‘god you have betrayed my expectations’. jesus (the one that a lot of christians look to as the ontological end to all of humanities needs) is let down by god. notice jesus doesn’t use the word ‘leave’,but rather ‘forsaken’, why? people come and go and leave and return, but forsaken is when someone willingly turns their back on you. purposefully.
in one fail swoop we unlearn all the things we’ve been taught about a god who is always there when we need her and learn about a god who isn’t the ‘end of the story’, but rather a god who is much like a storyteller who ends the story in the middle of the narrative. or a god who abandons us in our hour of need.
but maybe that’s just it, our hour of need isn’t an hour of need at all.
its just an hour that passes.
its not the end of the story.
this god who doesn’t act in our most tragic moment shows us a god who isn’t the ‘answer’ we think she should be. that all peace, patience, grace and meaning to life doesn’t end in her. but that there is more to the story. or as Bono once sang “i still have found what i am looking for”. this doesn’t mean we abandon god, it means we might have to meet god once again for the first time. it could also mean that rather than seeing god confined to certain spaces, we see god as everywhere. the god in sections. the god who isn’t this solid mass of all existence who resides above us. but is more in preview of itself.
when we experience god, its not god in his fullness, its preview of a preview. its part of the quilt that is god.
this whole idea of god being beyond our way of thinking like the prophet isaiah once spoke of is so true when we come to a library like the bible. because we can’t afford to look into its pages and expect it to have the fullness of god. i think even the idea of god is quite ideologically subversive to most of our logic, and if so, then why do we approach this entity with logic and get frustrated when someone/something elses’ explanation or god herself doesn’t fit the bill?