There is a verse in the book of Job that captures ambivalence – without making much sense of it at all:
Will you frighten a windblown leaf and pursue dry chaff?
These words stick with me is because I spent most of yesterday writing about the desert – working on a chapter of
my someday book. It’s a conundrum – full of ambivalence – the desert: a desolate place of trial and a place in which God’s comfort and intimate care is to be found.
I find I go back and forth as I write and as I look at the pages of my life: where I’ve known much trial and where I’ve known comfort and intimate care. So, the images of a windblow leaf and dry chaff feel appropriate.
What am I to make of a God that allows me and others to feel this way – windblown and scattered?
It’s Job’s question, of course.
I know…God answers Job; but even that is not all that satisfying.
At the end of the day, ambivalence reigns (whether it makes sense, or not). There are far more questions than answers when it comes to God and the story being written and told. Will I let that be or will I fight it – and God?
What would it be like for me to let myself be a windblown leaf today?
I might see and experience all kinds of things that are impossible when hooked to a branch and a tree and roots and the soil.
A bit scary. No, a lot scary. And maybe the best way to make sense of ambivalence is by not demanding that it make sense…