The God of the Back Room

10 01 2011

I (think I) live in two rooms and have two conversations: There is the conversation I have with myself in the Back Room, and then there is the conversation I have with Jesus in the Front Room.

In the Back Room I wrestle.

In the Front Room I am a little more presentable.

In the Front Room I am pretty ready to bend the knee, more ready to be quiet, more steer-able. In the Back Room I am still working things out; picture it as a sort of cage match with myself.

Can Jesus hear what is going on Back There?

Matthew 6:8 says that He knows what I need before I ask Him; all that banging around in the Back Room doesn’t fool Him; me poking my head around the corner, looking half-done, with my out-of-breath promise of, “Just about ready,” hasn’t left Him thinking that I really am.

“Do you really want to keep this up?” He stands at the door and knocks…

This isn’t how I want it to look: me less than put together; me untidy; my thoughts a mess; my heart disheveled; me on a day when I have broken half the commandments. I wanted to be more…more of something.

But Jesus knows my thoughts before I think them, so there is no coming forward with something better. He knows what I need before I come up with something filtered, so why not be straight up about it. This is what is both scary and beautiful about being in relationship with Him: Nothing hidden is both terribly humiliating and incredibly freeing.

There is no Front Room or Back Room. These are imaginary borders, like Maxwell Smart’s “Cone of Silence” that never, ever worked. There is only one conversation, the one I have every day as I interact within my world, that He is a part of whether I acknowledge His presence or not.

Jesus is the God of the Back Room.

He isn’t the God I clean up for and then come to.

He is the God I come to as I am, in the middle of it.

— Teresa Klassen

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