Monday, January 26, 2009

Under the Weather

In driving down I-95 last night, as it runs through rural Virginia headed for North Carolina, my husband at the wheel and me at the ipod dock, I found myself once again desiring to listen to one song and one song only. As I began to scroll through the album titles in search of Rattle and Hum, I knew that my companion would probably laugh at me (and deservingly so, as I do listen to this song at least once a week), but this in no way deterred me. The song I was looking for is about a search, a search that persists no matter how many times you find. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is at heart (according to Bono) a gospel piece and as such, it provides a strange, yet real comfort to me.

The search, lack of satisfaction, and yet, continued faith despite obvious and persistent doubt is what makes this song so audibly attractive no matter how many times I have heard it. I, too, know the truth of grace and yet, I keep searching, unsatisfied with the beauty that is before me. Unwilling to find my worth in something so counter-cultural, so abstract, I continue in pursuit of a worthiness that will never satisfy. Unwilling to be comforted by the only means of lasting comfort, I carry on seeking comfort in passing moments and unnatural highs (and lows). In the midst of the loneliness this inevitably produces, "I Still Haven't Found" is a source of comfort as it reminds me that I am not alone in my possibly neurotic struggles.

It seems incredibly fitting to me that the working title of this searching song was "Under the Weather." That is in fact how I feel, under the burden of a storm that will not pass, unable to find my way out. Why do I persist in my search when I cognitively know the truth? I can speak the truth of the gospel, but believing it is quite another thing. Do I know that my worth comes from the Lord's gracious activity and not my own attempts? Yes. Do I know that I am never abandoned, never alone? Again, yes. But I continue to plunge into the indulgence of these thoughts despite my knowledge of their fallacy. It is like I stand in the rain, with an umbrella in my hand, refusing or unable to open it, despite the obvious fact that it will keep me dry.

In spite of what it might seem, I do hope in the midst of this downpour. I do indeed believe that my bonds have been broken and my chains loosed. And even as I continue to search for whatever it is that I'm looking for, the cross of my shame has been carried, the Kingdom will come and "then all the colours will bleed into one." Restoration is coming and has come to this broken world, but also to me, an individual sinner who persists in an endless doubt-filled search. One day, I hope to find and to rest, for when I do, it will be a beautiful day when my faith is made whole. But until that day, I choose to meet that doubt and yes, continue to search - a search to move beyond the walls of my imagination to the incredible character of our King.

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