Dissecting Mystery

Mystery is afoot and we demand answers. Fall to our knees in silence? Allow awe to wash over us? No, no, we will have none of that. We will don the armor of asking the wrong questions, delaying the truth. We think if only we can dissect mystery, break it down into many facts and opinions, maybe we will have something sturdy enough to hold the weight of our preconceived conclusions. The goal for many of us is to gather just enough particles of the holy, crumbs of understanding, to wrong questionkeep the deeper hungers at bay, rather than to dwell fully in the heart of mystery.

And so we ask many questions. The right questions, ones that come from sincere and compassionate curiosity, can open paths to learning. Other questions slam shut the doors. Defensive and accusatory, they ask, “Who was to blame for this man’s blindness?” “What did sin have to do with it?” “Is he the same one who was begging?” “Was he really born blind?” “Did this happen on the Sabbath?” “What do you—or you, or you—have to say for yourself?” All the while, the living heart of the story beats on and wants to envelop us: Can we not see?! Healing beyond anything we have ever known has come. Jesus heals the blind! Enlightenment is in our midst!

Too often we choose the paralysis of analysis over the freedom of full scale awe. To let myself be in awe of what I do not grasp with my mind, to be in awe of the grand mystery that underlies all that is and does not depend on my being able to explain it, is to know that I am very, very small, and God is not. It is to accept my humble place and to be in awe of it. It is to acknowledge that I can see more than I thought possible. Asking questions keeps me busy and feeling important, but being silent long enough to discover that I might not even have the right questions, this can be my doorway into awe. I wonder, will I just be quiet now and let myself be healed?

Kayla McClurg

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