Seeing at a Slant
Reflections | 3.17.20
Seeing at a Slant: A window into the world of our false securities.
For the middle-class American, there are a thousand and one things that can give us a false sense of security. Developing a false sense of security doesn’t happen overnight. Each of us is connected in some way to a cultural I.V., slowly dripping a narrative that says security is found in one’s ability to control… to control future outcomes over and against the tragedies that might befall us - be it health, wealth, or safety. That is the cultural water that we swim in. And despite weekly trips to church, and daily rhythms alone with God, it’s easy to forget the narrative that is shaping our consciousness below the surface. It’s easy to forget that God [alone] makes me dwell in safety. The best healthcare in the world doesn’t give me the safety I need. The largest storehouse in savings doesn’t offer me the security I’m looking for. The best home security system money can buy will never give me the peace I need to lie down and sleep without worry or fear. Only God can give us that. Sometimes it takes a pandemic to strip us of all our false securities to remind us who truly gives us the peace and security we need to lie down in safety.
The global pandemic that we’re experiencing should be taken very seriously, and I’m in no way suggesting that God created such a pandemic to “wake us up” contrary to what some might be saying. But every ounce of suffering ultimately provides an apocalyptic slant into the world beneath our world - a window into all those things that lie beneath the surface. The apocalyptic style of literature in the scriptures is a strange style of writing that lifts the veil of the physical opening a window into the spiritual or heavenly realm. It’s a way of seeing life at a slant so-to-speak. An apocalyptic slant offers us the vision we need to see those things we’ve been placing our security in, without even knowing it.
Are you feeling anxious right now? Me too. Perhaps it's because something we’ve relied on for security is shaking under our feet.
Are you feeling fearful? Me too. Perhaps it’s because we’re realizing something we relied on to keep us safe is beginning to collapse under the weight of those things we fear most.
Pay attention to your gut.
What do you feel?
Chances are, those feelings are windows into the world of your false securities.
So what should we do with these feelings?
As Christians we’re not called to remain anxious, or fearful. In fact, we’re called to acknowledge those feelings, ask why we’re feeling them (which we’ve already done) and then we’re called to take them to the Lord that He might replace them with the peace, joy, and hope we’ve been looking for all along. King Jesus has ushered in eternally good news that offers us a sustaining joy, an eternal peace, and unshakeable hope.
So when you don’t feel joyful, when you don’t feel at peace, and when you seem to have misplaced your hope - ask why you feel the way you do. That might provide the window you need into the world of your misplaced securities. That’s the gift of an apocalyptic slant. We never pray for pandemics like the one we’re experiencing, but we thank God for the vision he offers us in the midst of it. So may we acknowledge how we feel without shame, and may we boldly approach the throne of mercy and find true and lasting security.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
- Psalm 4:8