I've recently moved and made a new friend. At her house was a large farmhouse table covered in Christian books. She was preparing for a conference and had them all laid out, but one in particular caught my eye. The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg. I mentioned that I had heard good reviews about the book and she offered to let me borrow it. I brought it home with great intentions, but it sat on my dresser for weeks. I have a very active toddler and quiet reading time is very difficult to come by these days (or any day since his birth!)
It took a while to get to it, but I love Margaret's perspective. She is filled with awe about the nature of God, His mystery and the adventure that comes with serving Him. Adventure is the key descriptor of my life so I was all about it!
Then I got to chapter 8, called Unbelievably Stubborn. I wish I didn't know anything about that topic, but for better and for worse, I do. Feinberg is ethnically Jewish and mentions a Jewish practice called Midrash. Midrash means to "search out" deeper truth from the Hebrew Bible. You are to wrestle with the text and read it looking for something unfamiliar. You are to cross-reference the topic with other scriptures and try to better understand them in order to better understand the heart of God. She first tried this practice with Genesis 19 and the fate of the city of Sodom. Often, we hear Sodom in context of Jude 1:7 that talks about it's tradition of sexual immorality and perversion, but she references
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen."
Arrogant. Overfed. Unconcerned. Check. Check. Check. As a nation, we are very proud, overfed (literally and figuratively), indulgent and selfish. We think we help the poor and needy, but our efforts are as measly as donating a couple of crusty cans from our pantry to a food drive that promises us free entry at the fair or a discount in our favorite department store. As an individual, I am guilty too.
I am no different than anyone found in Sodom and Sodom was destroyed.
I can't shake this message. Since I read this passage a month ago, the same message has been in my face... everywhere. I. turn.