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Purposeful Separation

Tonight I watched Ray. It was the story of Ray Charles (the black singer guy). It was a great movie. It was a little long though; I was getting uncomfortable in my seat after about 2.3 hours, so I had to start walking around for the last fifteen minutes of a movie. There is just something about a seat that I can’t stay in it for that long of a period of time. Except if 24 is on of course, because then I could be glued there for hours, if not days on end.

Anyway, Ray was great. The movie showed the story of his success and how he became who he was but there was also a significant amount of flashbacks about his childhood and horrifying things that happened during then. There is one flashback that stood out to me.

Ray is going blind, there are different flashbacks where his mother helps him learn how to feel his way around the house and then there is a scene where he finally is completely blind. Ray trips on a chair and falls, and he starts screaming for his mother. He lies on the ground and screams over and over again trying to figure out where she is. What he doesn’t know is that his mom is standing no further than fifteen feet away and is watching him. Her face is full of love and tears as she watches her only son left cry for her with lung bursting screams. Finally after a several minutes of crying he stops. He starts to use other senses and he picks up sounds with his ears. He hears a horse carriage go by, and a fire crackling in the fire place and then he hears a cricket. He gets up and starts to follow the noise. He grabs ahold of the cricket all the while his mom never goes to his side. Even though her child was screaming so loud, she stood back and withheld herself.

It was during these moments of his mom withholding herself that Ray discovered how amazing his hearing was. He discovered the wonder of sound, and he started to manifest it in different ways. As soon as Ray grabbed the cricket, he looked in the direction of his mother and said “I can hear you too mom.” They embrace with tears flowing like rivers of their cheeks as she loves upon him.

At first when I saw the mom not moving I was quite disturbed. Here is a kid who has just gone blind and can’t figure out life tripping on the ground and crying for his mom and there is no reaction from her. Tears flow but feet don’t move. She stands there and watches him in all his agony. Not until he stopped crying, got up and started using the gifts that he was given did I understand the actions (or lack of them) by the mother. I looked at Darryl and said, wow!

How often does God withhold himself from us? Not so we experience emptiness or agony, but so we can learn to use what he has given us. So he can teach us and mold us into what he created us to be. I know in my life this is true. When I feel at times the most withdrawn from God, and I don’t understand. When I have tripped on some obstacle in the way because I’m completely blind and I’m lying on the floor crying out for God to hear me and come and help me that’s when I encounter God’s love even more. The embrace that I feel when it’s all over, and the lessons I learn during are incomparable to anything else. Maybe God withdraws the feeling of himself from being right there beside you helping you every step of the way (we all know the footsteps poem). Next time when you feel distant from God, embrace the idea that God is still there watching and that he loves you and is teaching you through absolutely every moment of seem-to-be absence.

1 thought on “Purposeful Separation”

  1. I think I agree with your main point only to a certian extent. Yes, in the Psalms we see that God sometimes seems distant. But God is mindful of our weaknesses. If he is “distant” it is only because we have need of Him and need to be more fully made aware of it. Perhaps we’re saying the same things but in different ways. In any event Ps. 77 highlights well that which I speak of.

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