by: Staci Stallings
One of the most interesting aspects of the rise of Coming Undone through the Amazon book ranks at the beginning of February (it was #1 on Religious Fiction and Religious & Inspirational, as well as #11 on the overall Free Kindle Store) has been the reviews.
What interests me is the 2 1-star reviews I have received so far. The first went like this:
“Coming Undone, My Dear Lord!?!
NONONO! Why? God has to work very hard in this one. Why?
I guess without his CONSTANT input we can’t deal with life.”
This is not a spoiler for the book, but in it the heroine, Kathryn works in a hospice unit as a social worker. Now think about it for just a moment. She deals with death, families going through death, and the people who become her friends losing the people they love over and over and over again. So it’s not like she’s asking God for help purchasing a latte.
But even without this heightened need for God and His help, I want to ask this person and the other who left a similar review decrying the characters’ reliance on God… what’s the alternative?
What is the alternative to relying on God every moment?
Doing it yourself?
Isn’t that the very definition of Original Sin? “I don’t need God. I can do this on my own”?
And even if you don’t want to go that far with it, let’s look at it from a relationship standpoint. Let’s say you have a friend, and this friend is someone you greatly admire and even say you love. Now let’s say that the only time you ever talk to this friend is when you are in desperate need of help. I mean, otherwise, you don’t need this friend, so why talk to him, right?
How would you feel if someone did that to you? How would you like it if the only time this person showed up at your doorstep was when they had messed everything up, everything was horrible, and they needed you to fix it?
Yeah. That’s what I think too.
We wouldn’t want to be treated that way, so why do we think God does?
I think some of this “don’t rely on God all the time” mentality goes back to the unBiblical saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” I’m curious who in the Bible really “helped themselves” the way this saying seems to tell us to do. Abraham? His helping God turned into a disaster we still haven’t recovered from. Moses? Would that “helping himself” have been the part about killing the Egyptian or the refusing to go talk to Pharaoh because he couldn’t talk well?
What about Mary? When the angel showed up, did she start making a list of all the things she’d better do and accomplish to earn being the Mother of God?
Or how about Jesus, Himself? Have you ever noticed how many times the Bible refers to Him going off by Himself to pray? Why? Because He thought He could do it Himself? And He was GOD!
Yes, God sometimes has to work very hard in our lives. Why? Because we need Him! We need Him to show up, to help us, to guide us, to protect us, and yes, to love us. And He is more than willing to do that if we will just ask. So yes, I need God’s CONSTANT input in order to deal with my life. I hope you do too!