Nell Goddard

musings of a clergy child

02 Nov
2014

Dancing in the Grey

I am a Christian, and often, I do not understand.

I am made continually aware of how little I understand the God I believe in and love. The God who created me, and who sustains me day by day. I long to learn more about who He is and what He is like, and I struggle with not knowing.

I wrestle daily with my questions, my ignorance, and my doubts. I've spent so much of my life wishing everything about God was black and white, that it made sense, that I could put it in a neat little box, tied up with a pretty little bow, and stick it on my shelf. Sometimes, I wish my God was like that. But this is not the case. That is not who God is.

There are some things of God that I know and experience to be the absolute truth. I know Him to be creator, sustainer, saviour and Lord. I know Him to be good, holy, pure and worthy of praise. But there are other aspects which I ponder daily, unsure of how to muddle on with so many questions. A large grey area of confusion and discomfort, unanswered questions and unassuaged doubt.

I do not know how He holds justice and mercy in perfect harmony. I do not know how He hates sin but loves me, a sinner. I do not know how he brings me to my knees in fear and trembling, yet invites me into His very throne room, to sit with Him and call Him father. I do not know why He asks me to forgive when it still hurts, when the pain still burns deep inside. I do not know why He asks me to take the hard path, and walk the narrow road. I do not know why there is suffering, and why there is pain. I do not know where He is when the darkness overwhelms and the fear surrounds, when the pain is all-encompassing and the questions lie unanswered. 

For so long I have wrestled with my questions and with my doubts, convinced that I cannot be a 'real' Christian if I do not have all the answers. Convinced that doubt is wrong, and everything must fit together, otherwise I am foolish for believing.

But then I am approached by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, the light of the world, the word made flesh, crucified saviour and resurrected king. He comes towards me, and takes out of my hands the box of black and white in which I continually try to fit God. He takes it out of my hands, casts it aside, and asks me to dance. To dance with Him, with the freedom that He offers, and the peace that He brings. The love that spills over from His very being, and the acceptance of His leading. To dance with him in the smudges of grey that surround, that confuse and disturb. But it is there, as I am accepting the invitation to dance in the grey, that truth triumphs over uncertainty. It is in the dancing that I choose first to believe, and then come to know...

I do not know how He holds justice and mercy in perfect harmony. But I know that His ways are far above mine.

I do not know how He hates sin but loves me, a sinner. But I know that I am welcomed home with open arms the moment I turn back to Him. 

I do not know how he brings me to my knees in fear and trembling, yet invites me into His very throne room, to sit with Him and call Him father. But I know that daily I can approach Him, and He rejoices over me with singing.

I do not know why He asks me to forgive when it still hurts, when the pain still burns deep inside. But I know that every day He gives me the strength to keep going.

I do not know why He asks me to take the hard path, and walk the narrow road. But I know that He is with me, my comforter and my protector.

I do not know why there is suffering, and why there is pain. But I know that still He is good.

I do not know where He is when the darkness overwhelms and the fear surrounds, when the pain is all encompassing and the questions lie unanswered. But I know that still He remains

When the black and white answers are smudged into a thousand tones of grey, it is there that I will dance. In a place of uncertainty, but of peace. A place of questions, but of hope. A place of pain, but of healing. A place of frustration, but also of forgiveness. A place of grey, but a place of dancing.

Where there are questions, where my world view and my understanding of God are no longer black and white, no longer simple and comfortable, no longer boxed in and restricted, it is there that I will dance.

It is in the grey that I dance, but I do not dance alone. I dance a dance not of my own, but one led by my saviour, my Lord, and my best friend. By Jesus, by God, by the Holy Spirit. The grey of the questions does not bother me when I am in relationship with my God, because I know that He is bigger, He is trustworthy, and He is faithful.

As I dance in the grey, I can embrace the questions and the doubt, the unknowns and the discomfort, and trust that He is God, He is good, and He will lead me to a place of peace. Even though I do not understand, I cling to what I know to be true, that He is creator, sustainer, saviour and Lord. He is holy, pure and worthy of praise. He is faithful, and He is trustworthy. He leads me step by step, even as I am dancing in the grey.

[caption id="attachment_825" align="aligncenter" width="271"]Image Credit: http://becuo.com/black-and-white-ballet-photography Image Credit: http://becuo.com/black-and-white-ballet-photography[/caption]

Nell Goddard
ME

Hi, I’m Nell. Alianore, if we’re being overly formal (that’s pronounced ‘Eleanor’, by the way). I’m a blogger, author, speaker, and occasional over-thinker. An introvert who likes to talk. A theologian, on a good day. A Christian, a storyteller, and a friend.