22 – Jireh
Jireh, pronounced Yireh, is Hebrew for Provider. It’s funny how even when you are holding a grudge against a good parent and even when they know it, they still provide for you. I was operating CLS because I was told to. I believed in God even though I had a bone to pick with Him. At the same time He was taking care of us. As I was helping people who couldn’t afford a lawyer, along came a few cases that funded the effort. Some college kids lost their mother in an auto accident. They were referred to me to handle the estate pro bono, which I did, but on investigation we decided to sue an asphalt contractor for wrongful death. A clever legal theory (not my invention – wish i could take credit) got us to a point where we could settle and we did so for 6 figures. That and another auto accident case paid off M’s student loans and funded the charity portion of my practice.
About that time I attended the Peacemaker Training mentioned in “deja vu,” and picked up two pivotal thoughts aside from the expected curriculum.
“Bitterness is a poison that a man drinks expecting his enemy to die from it.” This flew all over me with relation to God, my Dad’s mother, and even to some degree, Dad. I was drinking it. (Thanks for that, Tara.)
“If you care to evaluate your own anger level, check your vocabulary.” M had been telling me I hadn’t been the same since Dad died, but this gave me an objective test. I studied the words I was using toward God and just people in general, and even in my thoughts, and found many of them to be rooted in anger. Of course this made me angry that I had let anger have such a hold. Grrr!
So God is real. Check.
Jehovah is the real God. Check.
Jesus is His Son and Him at the same time. Hard to comprehend but Check.
The Bible is legit. Circular reasoning on the New Testament portion but Check.
He’s interested in me and loves me enough to provide for me. Check.
The angels and demons of the Bible are still around. Hard to accept but empirical knowledge – Check.
He lets people live that don’t deserve it, be abused that don’t deserve it, die that don’t deserve it, and suffer that don’t deserve it. Check Check.
God is a messed up, confusing Deity that wants me to worship Him even though I sometimes don’t think He deserves it. Ugh.
So what do I do with all this cognitive dissonance?
Paul said it to the Philippians in Chapter Two (not that he actually numbered the chapters in his letters)
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
I could at least release what I could grasp of my anger, work on my vocabulary and not take my anger out on the people that I love.
Oh but I forgot to mention that it was due to a doctor’s malpractice that Dad died. He had visited the ER the night before I viewed Hale Bopp with him. (amicus) Apparently the pathetic excuse for a physician (see – angry words) ran minimal tests, labeled his tightness in the chest as heartburn and sent him home. The next night, after we spoke on the phone, he felt this same “heartburn” again, and tried to walk it off based on the stupid doctor’s advice. He laid down in the floor of his bedroom and mom called me as the paramedics were putting him in an ambulance.
BUT I’M SUPPOSED TO SING PRAISES TO THE GOD WHO DID THIS? Apparently so.
Apparently so. In 2002 I was representing criminals for crimes they committed. Abusers and Molesters for their actions against innocent children. Divorcees who wanted to break up their children’s worlds because they “fell out of love” with their spouse, or someone had gained too much weight and wasn’t as attractive anymore.
But I was “releasing my anger…” Whatever. Screw it. I needed a break.
So I joined a mission team going to a remote jungle village on the Guatamalan border of Belize. I would cook three meals a day for 20 people as they did construction work on a local school. Cory was now one year old and I would be gone 10 days.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
If Paul was directing this at me, in God’s infinite knowledge, wisdom, and authorship, He simply expected too much. Unrealistic on his (or His) part.