Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CSFF Blog Tour, Imaginary Jesus, Day 2

Imaginary Jesus

*Warning: There are SPOILERS in this post*

It seems like most of the other tourists who have posted so far agree that this is a funny book. Lots of laughing out loud. Lots of “Are you crazy?” looks from family members. Yes, I definitely laughed while I read this book. But I also cried.

You eventually find out that the root of Matt’s Imaginary Jesus problem is the pain of an unanswered prayer. Matt and his wife lost a baby to miscarriage, and he didn’t understand how Jesus could let that happen. This struck me on a very personal level, because my husband and I have also experienced the loss of a miscarriage.

While it’s not something I necessarily kept a secret, I never really talked about it much. It was our first pregnancy and it was the last thing I expected to happen. As I read Matt’s story I remembered feeling many of the same things that he described. A shred of hope, because Jesus can do anything. Saying the words, “I don’t want this to be happening.” Then feeling abandoned because our prayers weren’t answered.

I had a lot of difficulty praying for a long time after, because I didn’t see the point. I had prayed for plenty of silly things during my lifetime, trivial things, but this was one time when it really mattered. And God didn’t answer my prayer. As Matt said, “I know he has power. If he were helpless, I wouldn’t feel betrayed by him.” That perfectly describes how I felt at the time.

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Eventually I found healing, especially when Veronica was born. Which is why I love the ending of the book so much! And even though I still don’t understand why God allowed our miscarriage, I trust in his wisdom and ultimate love. It didn’t happen overnight, but I’ve recovered my belief in the power of prayer. It reminds me of a plaque that one of my friends has in her bathroom: “God always answers prayers. Sometimes the answer is no.” Which makes a lot more sense than the idea that he doesn’t answer prayers at all. As a parent I also have to say no even if my toddler doesn’t understand why, and God is our Father after all. Isn’t that a comforting thought?

Don’t forget to visit Matt’s website and blog. And buy the book! You’ll be glad that you did.

More stops on the tour:

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Valerie Comer
R. L. Copple
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King 
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson
KM Wilsher

4 comments:

  1. yes! that's what I like to say as well.. sometimes he says no... we just don't like hearing that, do we?
    Great review!

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  2. Crazy as it may seem, there is comfort in knowing that bad things may happen but God is still good. And there's also a peace in giving up the need to always know the answer to "Why?"

    As I've come to learn through my own tragedies and troubles, there's an arrogance in demanding that God tell us why something happened, why He didn't fix it, why He didn't prevent it -- as if God answers to us, and not the other way around. Simply because we humans cannot see the reasons, cannot understand why God did not intervene as WE would wish Him to do, does not mean that He DIDN'T intervene in circumstances we don't know and may never know.

    Matt's book, while not diving as deeply as I might have liked into the theological ocean, is nonetheless a humorous signpost toward a true relationship with Christ.

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  3. What a great post. You are honest and vulerable with your feelings, thanks for sharing. Sounds like a good book too.

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  4. Tori,

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Krista and I actually went through two miscarriages, which were a lot more traumatic emotionally than I ever thought they would be. I know it can be hard to share, but I'm so glad that you did... I think it helps those of us going through the hard times to know other believers who have gone through it and come out the other side still believing and still in relationship with Jesus. It's an important part of our stories that we don't often share enough.

    Matt

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