Monday, March 10, 2014

Smuggle Up

   Way back during the Cold War, there was a guy. Whatever his real name is (or was?), he went by the moniker "Brother Andrew". Among other things, he was an author, but the only book of his that I can recall; is something called "God's Smuggler". In that book, he told his story. The story was pretty exciting, and it described crossing borders; these were scary ones, leading into places you would not want to go. Those lovely garden spots which our pals Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao so industriously created, turned out to be some seriously murderous, tyrannical ratholes. That; by the way, is an intolerable rats! The old way of describing this fiesta of poverty, darkness and downright dreary crap was "curtain". Back then, there was the "iron" one, and the "bamboo" version to nicely accent. How thoughtful, matching curtains on opposite sides of Eurasia! The misery of Marxism (enslaving whole peoples) was the "progress" which that bunghole Marx gave birth to. Faith, in those countries "adopting" communism, was illegal. You could go to prison, be tortured, and die, for the "crime" of trusting your Maker. Stink-hole governments such as Bulgaria, Romania, and East Germany (as "satellites" of the U.S.S.R.), beat, tormented, and enslaved "criminals" who were practicing Christian faith. Guess what? Andrew was in the business of bringing Bibles INTO the old "Iron Curtain" countries! I don't recall the details here, and can't even tell you which decade he operated in. Was it the 60's, or 70's? Beats me, but just for today, let's keep the idea of "smuggling". Further, let's steal (liberate?) his title, and dub you-also; "God's smuggler"!
   The first thing we should recognize is that aside from the commie-rat-finks who ran those third rate dungeons, not everybody uniformly appreciated his efforts. There were those in the West, who from a "law and order" perspective; frowned upon the (technically) unlawful, illegal and (therefore?) "im-moral" aspects of Andrew's exploits. If my memory is not entirely whacked here,  these folks were "shocked" that (horrors!) he was breaking the law! After all, isn't our behavior supposed to be excellent among the unbelievers, aren't we to be blameless before the gentiles? Yadda yadda, you're killing me with this stuff. Let me get this part...just right. Are we to, (by this standard) think by these rules, that the Almighty is "against" smuggling-in contraband? Is He always, and everywhere thus opposed? Talk to me here.
   Let me tell you a story or two. My departed sis (Polly) had a batch of truly remarkable gifts. Of those, one strikes me as especially memorable, and don't ask me where she got it; (because we were certainly NOT raised this way!), but she used to be able to extend a "welcome field". Now, her life as a believing Christian, included a lot of details. She was among other things; a daughter, wife, mother, sister, and worship leader at her church. Busy? I would guess so. Stressed? Sure, why not? Yet somehow she emitted a weird field around her, and it (the field I mean) "welcomed". She could take an uptight, uncomfortable geek (who shall remain nameless) and actually make me feel "at home"? How was this done? My best guess here is, "it was supernatural".  
   Face it, we live in a harsh, mean, ugly old world. Polly died young, of a mean-nasty disease. Friendliness, open-armed welcome, and acceptance do not "belong" here, here in this harsh, dim, environment! Surely such gladness as hers is "misplaced"; in this world of grief, revenge, laziness and folly. She was "breaking the rules", and smuggling-in contraband! My other sis, (Nan) who is (thank God!) still with us castaways down here; is also a bootlegger, importing "unlawful goods". This sister (that rascal!), has the unmitigated nerve to produce (maybe you should be seated?)...things of BEAUTY? This is outrageous! There oughta be a law, I tell ya!
   This gal could take seven toothpicks, a rock and a piece of swiss cheese, and make a "little ol' thing" of them which would cause you to nearly swoon. Isn't "taking-your-breath-away", as potentially, a violation of "law and order", at least a bit questionable? Is it even "lawful" in this dark, dank, fetid swamp of self-pity, this dump of screamingly butt-ugliness, (called "the world") to allow beauty to just run around unsupervised? I mean isn't there some paperwork; or a license of some kind required? a smuggler, and worse yet; an unrepentant one!
   I hate to be the one to break it to you, but ALL believers qualify somehow, and somewhere as God's smugglers. We are all brothers to Brother Andrew.
   Not to wax too awfully metaphysical over here, but Jesus Christ Himself formats as some sort of "compound portal". Ordinarily, we think of a door, (or window for that matter) as a "fixed" access point. From one room into another, or going from inside to outside, you know? Doors themselves are "simple", not multi-plex. We do not expect doors to "move around" much.  But by virtue of Him ascending to the right hand of the Father, high and low have been united (or linked at minimum). Therefore, He controls the entire spectrum, in that the highest of the high, down to the lowest of the low (this is where you come in...) are accessed "in" Him. The Guy OWNS the bell curve. Some new sort of doorway then is He, in which the clean wholesome light of that other land ends up mysteriously in this sad place down here. Now, as an abtruse (and unnecessary) aside, we could (I think) predict that with Him being this new kind of portal (permanently), such precludes the "need" for spacecraft in that fresh world to come?...From any given point then, to any other, an alternate route, a "shortcut" right through the throne-room on high; "appears"! 
   And however accurate (or not) that guess is, our idea here is that those trusting the King in this world-age have themselves become "windows or doors". Technically, you as a son, are broadcasting a light into this place which actually does not "belong" here. There is no "legal" accounting-for this gladness of yours, which you have been bearing around here in this sorrowful graveyard, in a most-unseemly manner I would add! A light shining out of your life seems to be projecting an unseemly confidence over in your vicinity, let's call it, a frankly strange "victorious-ness", which neither the "god of this age", nor this world itself; nor yet our own rotten selves can "splain", nor authorize; and let's just ignore that Ricky Ricardo riff there, shall we young man?
   Our one hope? To, when we see Him, be made like Him!...I hate to break it to you, but it is already begun! That dimensional portal in Polly's life which admitted into my sad ugly life, an unexplainable welcome, and that same breach of worlds; which (to this day) allows Nan to (apparently, at will?) generate beauty into this grief stricken dump (called "reality"); this very same "portal" is in you, in your body I mean!
   Weirdly, only other people can normally see it in you. Ask Nan about her scary-beauty bomb, and she just pooh-poohs the whole idea! I'm not kidding. She does not "see it" her own self.  And frequently, we find that people become far more arrestingly interesting, after they die, so maybe it's just unavoidable? Perhaps none of us are "truly appreciated" during our lifetime. Who cares? Our idea for today, is that it was NOT "about you" in any case! Appreciated or not, both ends of the spectrum prove moot, if our goal is to find out WHY we are this way. We, in our bodies; have become "an opening", allowing-in a light (which you-yourself, usually cannot see), into a sad dark dungeon? Others see-by your light briefly, but you-yourself are not the source of it! Others are refreshed and girt up again for their long journey, but that journey always points to Another! So, why are we this "illegal" way anyhow? Well, what would the other option be?
   Wouldn't the "opposite" to this unlikely scenario be you-lighting your own way, or the opposite of that; no light for anybody at all? Things are never (yet) as bad as they could possibly be, but it would prove to be a serious degradation of affairs if the King's mercy and good gifts could "find" no other pathway into this grievous house of pain than His folk. See? We keep expecting Him to "immediately" fix, or "repair" things,...isn't that "His job" after all? Meanwhile, He keeps insisting that He always works through a "middle-man", an "agent", something about a "covenant" was it? He does not appear to be willing to negotiate here! Meanwhile, over in our hard cold hearts, are we so very certain that we wish no friend to (ever) be sent? In our cruel darkness, are we really clear on the idea of "no hope...ever coming" as our "answer" here? We shout at Him, in our pain and sadness, "Just leave me alone!", and He has given us time to swallow our pride and retract that. The "reason" that He gives us time... to quit our pointless project, is for us to come back to our senses, and ask for some help!
   Here, I wax quasi-poetic, or at least as close as I am able to! We "bring what does not belong" into this world-age, because we have ourselves, (who do not belong), been "brought in". We assist others "to grasp", in that we have ourselves "been grasped". We help others "to know", in that we have ourselves "become known". We ourselves, though not "lovable" in, nor of, ourselves, have begun to love. We just kept thinking that for me to be loved, I must be "lovable" first, and by that route, lay no hope! He "broke the rules", in knowing us as we are, and also loving us! This then is a new kind of "food" if you will. It is the "thing", which, when put "in" you, makes you grow strong! Food keeps us alive! I hope that your mother did not fail to mention that crucial part to you!...

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