Christian Devotions --Guest Devotionalist, Susan BoyerRaising Your Hand
By: Susan Boyer
Listen to Raising Your Hand by - Susan Boyer
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” –John 1:5
God often shows up in unexpected places. I confess that I sometimes watch Desperate Housewives. Are you shocked? Some folks I know find the television series not suitable viewing for Christians, although I doubt they’ve ever watched it. Since there are quite a few cautionary tales in the Bible I read, I figure it’s okay to watch one on TV.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, one of the characters, Lynette, who had suffered through the soap-opera-equivalent of the trials of Job—cancer, a tornado, marital problems—approached a friend, Bree, who habitually attended church. Lynette asked if she and her family might come along. Of course Bree was delighted to have them join her in the pews—until Lynette raised her hand to ask a question after the sermon. Mortified, Bree told her, “We don’t do that here.”
This made for a comic scene, but it resonated with me. I’ve always had a lot of questions, and I suspect I’m not alone. I’ve known Christians who believed that asking the wrong question was the equivalent of questioning the Lord himself, and thus a sacrilege. To be fair to the fictional minister and his church, he later shared that he found Lynette’s openness refreshing. Bree apologized to Lynette before the end of the episode, and helped her search the Bible for answers to her questions. Warning for those who don’t typically watch this show: they don’t do a lot of Bible reading, and much of the subject matter is of a sinful nature.
But, this episode raised an important issue for me. There are a lot of Lynettes in the world—people who are hurting and searching. Even among the faithful, we wonder about such mysteries as why bad things happen to the innocent. But too often we don’t deal with the hard questions, preferring to retreat into what must sound like platitudes to those on the outside looking in. How can we look non-believers in the eye and ask them to join us, but only ask the questions to which we have memorized the answers?
I accept that there is much we will never understand this side of Heaven: Almighty God is a higher being, and we humans simply cannot wrap our brains around all of Him. But it’s important for me to know all that I am capable of knowing.
I need to shine The Light in the dark corners. To walk with Him, I must understand Him. I raise my hand when I have questions.
Susan M. Boyer lives in Greenville, SC with her husband, Jim. She spends her days writing and daydreaming too much. Her work has appeared in Relief Journal, Spinetingler Magazine, The Petigru Review, and Catfish Stew. She is the recipient of Relief Journal’s, editor’s choice award in fiction. Susan is currently polishing her first novel, a Southern women’s suspense tale. She serves on the board of directors for the South Carolina Writers Workshop, and is in her second year as chairperson for their annual conference. In her spare time, Susan travels with her husband, occasionally makes it to her Jazzercise class, and sometimes remembers to update her blog, People I’d Like to Be at firstname.lastname@example.org, where she mostly complains about the exercise and her sluggish metabolism.