19 January, 2008

just before the night falls

Sticky wet snow! Sarah came over to the room to keep me company and we laughed, studied, and ate goldfish crackers. (She gets to be Photo of the Day because I didn’t want to go outdoors to document the first snow of the year. Not worth it.)

When I study difficult and confusing books of the Old Testament, I always try to keep myself on track by looking for aspects of God’s character. This helps me remember why, for example, Leviticus matters: all of those rules show God’s specificity and the difficulty of holiness—and teach me a lot about gratitude to Christ for freeing us from the law. The minor prophets show me a redemptive pattern of God’s jealousy for His children, and so on.

But I am studying 2 Samuel now and I’m having trouble discerning the goodness of God; I’m not sure what I’m supposed to glean from this book. Par example: Soy pissed about King David this morning. In chapter three, David took Michal (Saul’s daughter) away from her husband, arguing that he had paid for her with “a hundred Philistines foreskins.” I don’t understand this man. Who buys other men’s wives with pagan penises? What really got me, though, was this verse, describing the abduction of Michal from her husband: “So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim.” That image—of a man sobbing and stumbling behind a chariot, mourning for his wife—was very touching to me.

So I was upset with David and told Kathryn about this. She agreed that it was not cool, but said, “I guess that’s weird. But David is a man’s man. That guy conquered armies and wrote poetry. He could do whatever he wanted.”

I guess this is what irks me about David. Why did he get to do whatever he wanted? Just because he was the Lord’s anointed? Not fair. Maybe what I’m supposed to learn about God’s character is that He is not fair. But I want Him to be.

Because it’s cute and funny and it’s election season (and those adjectives rarely describe this time of year): The Baby Primary: one father’s quest to have his 5-month-old daughter photographed with every presidential candidate.

In my Math for Dummies class, we are studying election math. Most of you wouldn’t even consider it math, and it must not be, for I find it interesting and relevant. I just finished doing a few pages of homework and it was a little exciting.

I feel like I have not been myself in four or five months. I want to resume normalcy but I can’t even tell you what normalcy looks like. I want to rejoice in the nearness of God and trust in His goodness. I want to return to joy. Can you force yourself to believe?

Reading: Three Lives, Gertrude Stein
Hearing: “Love Throw a Line,” Patty Griffin
Eating: little pressed fig cakes
Feeling: small and vague


kari said...

I took dummy math last semester! who's your teacher?

sarah said...

herm-herm music elitist. patty griffin and I are very close--in fact, I wrote some of her lyrics. perhaps if you started listening to the funguses you'd come to the light.

Anonymous said...

i'm not sure that's a legitimate metonymy.