Sunday, February 15, 2009

Helpful Link to “Cursing & Praying on a Ridge” (published 2-15-2009; updated 10-29-2022)

2/15/2009 Original Article

For those interested in the inspiration for the Appalachian Irishman's next article, below, “Cursing & Praying on a Ridge,” please click the "Helpful Link" (here) and in the title, above.

This brother in Christ provides useful resources on several points of religious discussion, especially as related to the Church of Christ tradition.

10/29/2022 Update

Today, Saturday, 10/29/2022, my website analytics showed that this 2/15/2009 article had one view, in the last 24 hours. I had wondered what I had written.

I had published this note, after my first 2/15/2009 article, “Cursing & Praying on a Ridge – which is one of my eight “Articles of Note - A Select Few” that has viewers almost daily.

The “Helpful Link" was and is to “Forgiving God: A Testimony,” on John Mark Hicks, by Dr. John Mark Hicks, 12/11/2008. I suggest that you read Dr. Hicks' 12/11/2008 article. It is his eloquent and honest public statement of his emotion and spiritual struggle, regarding the untimely passing of his son.

On 2/15/2009, I had commented on brother Hicks' article as follows.

Can a man, who loves to hike – standing on a bluff, on a ridge, on a clear, crisp day, with a scenic view below, as hawks fly above – both curse freely and then pray calmly, within a span of minutes? Yes, of course.

Does God understand? Yes, of course.

Just after returning from five years of foreign mission work, my relatively young mother was stricken by a yearlong illness, or illnesses, resulting in her death. As she recovered from the first illness, the other took her, suddenly.

Since then, I have not served in a fulltime ministry, nor will I. My zeal in ministry poured out of me, from the hole created in my bowels (the old word for seat of compassion) by the experience.

Last year, I finally left the “Church of Christ,” since my mother, a faithful Christian, under the Baptist tradition, did not die and go to hell, for her “doctrinal misunderstanding.” I am still, however, part of Christ’s church, as all, such as my mother, are – who by grace through faith are saved.

I still struggle to find that zeal for ministry, which was lost. Yes, deep down, I am still angry with God, for taking my mother, when we all still needed her so badly. I understand the deep points regarding the problem of evil and how those points apply generally. Still, why my mother at that time?

I still believe, because my mother believed, and because I know Him.

Brother John Mark Hicks replied, on 2/16/2009:

Yes, God does understand. I understand that we can pray with Madeleine L’Engle: “God, I hate you. Love, Madeleine.”

Healing comes slowly for some, more quickly for others. It is a journey either way. I pray you will find some healing and perhaps – if you feel the call – a resource for ministry (whether “official” or not).

Blessings, my brother.

John Mark

Dr. John Mark Hicks' website -- John Mark Hicks: A Disciple Seeking to Follow Jesus into the World for the Sake of the World to the Glory of God -- is still active. His website includes his audio-video messages, so you can read and hear what he writes and says.

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