My Faith Hassle

What to Do with My Numbered Hair

Disclaimer: This blog is me thinking about my Christian struggles in public. If you’re in a place where a little negativity might shake your faith, please, don’t read any further. Love and Light. There’s no light in this country.

“I am a rumble, a tangle of yarn, a jaga jaga, an incoherence, discordance, clangor, katzenjammer.”

– David Emeka

This is what I know: That human beings like to exaggerate their own significance. They want everything to revolve around them. They want to be loved and respected and fawned over.

This is what I think: That because of the above statements, we might have overestimated how important we are to God.

Let me explain.

First, the foundation of this whole Christian thing is gratitude and privilege. That’s why we say things like: What is man that God is mindful of him? Who am I that Jesus came to die for me? The gist is we are the prodigal son whom the father always accepts and never stopped loving; we are the stray sheep whom Jesus leaves the 99 for. We are so important that God wants so much to be a part of our lives. He holds us in his palms, collects all our tears and has even numbered the hairs on our head. This is all good and fine but have you ever considered that we may not matter to God so much? What if we matter but not in the way we think we do?

The main reason we think God cares about us is because he created us. I mean, he went through all that stress to give us this universe so why would he not care? Well, personally, I’ve created many things I didn’t care about. I have a folder named “Abandoned Works”. I’ve also strived for things that eventually brought me intense dissatisfaction. One moment, I wanted it so badly and the next, well… I’m made in the image of God and all that.

Last year, I encountered the word “male disposability” for the first time. It means that the world treats men as symbols, disposing and replacing them without hesitation. Use and dump. Like, yunno, plastic cups. Though this term was used as a response to radical feminists who think all men know in this world is bliss, I also see how men (read: humans) might be disposable to God. Use and dump. Use and deliver. Use and reward. All kinds of endings but it always starts with “use”.

Let’s start with some popular Bible stories.

Specimen 1: Of course, our dear brother, Job

Job was on his own, living his life and pleasing God. The devil was also on his own, roaming around normal-normal. Then, on sighting the devil, God said “Have you seen my servant Job?”. Then a conversation ensued. A boast was made. The devil takes everything Job has, some lamentation happens and Job proves God’s point (never mind Omniscience that means you know he won’t stop serving you and that his pain was unnecessary) and his fortune and family are restored in quite a lot of folds. End of story.

Every time I read this story, I can’t help but see that Job lost everything but his wife so God could give the devil a I-told-ya smirk. All in one day. How did he grieve? How did he take it in? Was putting him through all that necessary? Was there no other way to find out?

But guess what, many Christians think it doesn’t matter cos he gained everything back in many folds. But for God’s sake, those children were human beings. He had a relationship with them. He loved them. He watched them grow. And suddenly they are gone and that vacuum will go away because, helloooo, he now has new children.

And then one day, out of the blue, my friend asked me: Would Job have felt differently about his suffering if he knew it was simply because of a boast?

And I thought about it for a long time. I mean, if I were Job, I’d think: If you really care about me, you’ll not hurt me to win a bet. You won’t rationalize it and say after all, I’ll give you another one.

Specimen 2: Our humble unnamed brother

Dude was blind from birth. We don’t know how old he is but the Bible called him a “man” so we have an idea how old this dude might be. The disciples see him and ask Jesus: Is this man blind because of his sin? Jesus says no. They ask again: Is he blind because of his father’s or mother’s sin. Jesus says no. Jesus says his blindness was to reveal the glory of God and then goes ahead to heal him.

I didn’t think much of the story till it hit last week. Our dude was blind from birth till “manhood” (for which we have an age range) and it was just so God could shine at the end. I don’t know firsthand but I’ve met some blind people and that’s a pretty difficult life. Add that with poverty and being in a place where someone can even wonder if its because you sinned. If there was no other way ehn, it could have been 6 months of blindness. It could have been a year. Two years. Maybe three? But nope. It was X.

Do you understand this dude’s blindness was for another kind of “boast”? So dearest reader, aren’t we really just pencils in the hands of the creator?

Specimen 3: Dracula, or Pharaoh for short

Pharaoh needs no introduction. We know him. Slaver. Human and Civil Rights abuser. All round wicked dude. He held the Israelites captive and to rescue them, God sent the Egyptians a series of frightening plagues. Now, Egypt wasn’t a small community in one village. It was a full country. Open your bible and imagine just one of the plagues happening in somewhere like Lagos, for instance. Imagine the severity. One night and every first-born thing dies. No one else dies. Only first-borns. Pharaoh got the message and released them. Told them to pack anything they wanted. Like Money Heist. His message was: Just go. Just go. In an alternative scenario, the Israelites could have emptied the treasury and taken all the food and gold and next thing we know, Egypt is in a recession and there is peak inflation and some guys will start discussing future projections. But God didn’t think it did the job. He hardened Pharaoh’s heart some more and boom, Pharaoh and his army drowned in the Red Sea.

Pharaoh didn’t have to die. His armies didn’t have to die. But God was bent on destroying them and that’s what happened. Pencils, pencils.

Bonus Specimen: The Obedient Noah

I’ll keep this one short.

The idea behind the flood was this: God wanted to rid the world of sin. If righteous people are in the ark, the evil ones die and the world can start afresh. Clean and saintly. Guess what? Didn’t happen. Soon after the flood, Canaan is cursed and drama begins afresh.

Did God not know it wouldn’t work? He did. Was it even part of the “design”? I’d say, 90% yes.

If the above is true, then, disposability. Those lives didn’t mean anything. Their death didn’t solve anything. Hence, the flood was a failed experiment. Period.

Summary:

  • If God didn’t ask to be worshipped, I think this conversation would be different.
  • I think our suffering isn’t as weighty as we think it is. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t warrant any consideration.
  • If I had kids and some of my kids are hurting my other kids, I won’t say “well, I gave them freewill” or “hang on Paulie, I’ve numbered your hair”. Especially if I saw or orchestrated it all. Omniscience + Sovereignty.  
  • I also think hellfire is real cos if there is a God and you think he won’t allow billions of people go to hell, then you haven’t been reading your Bible.

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