Friday, October 18, 2013

Frameworks, Strangers, Aliens and Anchors

Bible doctrine is the theology which provides a framework for my life. Some might even call that wisdom. When life slams us up against things we have no answer for (violence, death, cancer, child abuse, handicaps—fill in the box) the thing that keeps me sane is a Biblical framework with the person of Jesus Christ at its center.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us…” An anchor holds a ship in place so that the storm doesn’t move it out of the harbor or even into other boats. The anchor centers and secures.

We need centering, we need securing, and we need someplace sheltered. I do anyway. Peter calls the early Christians ‘aliens.’ Earth isn’t home, they don’t belong here. At times we all feel that way. There doesn’t always seem to be a safe circle. At times I just feel like a freak. I see the world differently. I have thoughts that bounce from sane to scary. Friends and family are my closest allies yet still they can’t really know me (yes you like me but do you---like me, like me?). Where do I go for shelter?

I lean on a framework. For big picture sanity I lean on Romans chapter 8; God causes all things to work together for good, if God is for us who can be against us, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. The smaller pieces fit into smaller frameworks; I raise my daughter in a framework of releasing an adult into the world one day. My marriage is framed biblically, trying to love my wife as Christ loves the church. Outdoor exercise grants me mental and physical strength. Framework provides the context for our lives.

Chesterton makes the point that even a freestyle artist will choose a medium and a boundary (a frame if you will) for his work. Once the boundary is established the artist can render beauty for all to see. So the boundary frees rather than inhibits and the artist is free to move fully and create beauty to the utmost.

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