The Inner Room

"God just seems awfully angry in the Old Testament"

One of my friends is a fairly new Christian. She recently remarked that she didn’t like reading the Old Testament, and when I asked why, she said “God just seems awfully angry.” I replied with something profound like “hmm”, and the conversation went on from there.

Southwestern-style black bean salad

2 540 ml/19 fl oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 341 mil/12 oz liq can corn kernels, drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into cubes
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
½ medium purple onion, chopped small
Juice of one large or 2 small limes
extra-virgin olive oil, a few tablespoons
salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
hot pepper sauce to give it a kick, to taste

Mix everything together and enjoy!

longing

Gripped with longing
sudden, swift, severe
a longing I cannot shake.

I know what I'm longing for is a fantasy
which will dissipate into hard reality and leave me emptier and lonelier than before
the promise of unparalleled pleasure morphing into unmatched pain
the moment the bite of that fruit is taken.
My eyes open, the lies exposed,
nothing to cover myself with.

Some post-Valentine's Day thoughts

Valentine’s Day is a day that calls up all kinds of emotions if you’re single, most of them negative. No matter how much you convince yourself that it is simply a manufactured holiday which imposes a false sense of obligation on those who are coupled to spend money and drum up a sense of romance (which it is), it nevertheless manages to make you sharply aware of the fact that You Are Single and have no one to a) celebrate the day with or b) agree to not celebrate the day with. Either would be preferable to not having the option.

Why doesn't God punish evildoers?

It’s an evil world. We only have to watch the news to know that. Unspeakable atrocities happen every day on a global scale.

But we don’t have to watch the news to know that. Most of us don’t make it through life without learning it on a personal level. Human atrocities happen every day, on the scale of one human being relating to another. People do terrible things to one another regularly, some that are illegal, some that aren’t. Some that are found out and stopped, some that aren’t.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them....Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Forgiveness: what does it mean to forgive someone who isn't sorry?

A question I’ve struggled with many times, is what does it mean to forgive someone who is unrepentant and unchanged? Someone who may have done serious and genuine evil, but refuses to acknowledge it, has never apologized (or maybe offered a half-hearted, self-justifying apology), and has carried on with their life as if nothing happened? Who continues to avoid blame or responsibility, even years after the original offense? Who continues in their harmful behaviour, to you or to others?

The progression of temptation

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the progression of temptation and sin.

Maybe you’ve been there. You get into a situation that you know is not right or good and you think, “How did I get here?” You feel like you were helplessly swept along by forces or circumstances outside of your control. You might blame God or other people. You excuse yourself because of your weaknesses and your needs. You wonder, “How am I going to get out of this?”