The Madwoman: A Parable--With Apologies to F.N.
Undismayed, she answered, "I seek God, the God of fire and grace, the God with wounds, the God who turns everything upside down, the God who summons repentance and faith to move mountains. I must find the God of the Holy Book. I must find a holy people." But her divers interlocutors were unmoved: "We have no need for such a judgmental and extremist deity. Our God is our comfort. We have contextualized God. What else could we do? It is the twenty-first century, after all. You are insane and off of your medication!"
She thundered back in tones that frightened many, "A contextualized God is no God at all! Let God be God, though everyone a liar!" This was too much for the evangelical churches. Many further scorned her by saying, "What woman could be a prophet of our God?!" She was forced out of all the churches or escorted out by police who warned her to desist lest she be charged with disturbing the peace. She always peacefully left, never physically harming anyone or anything. But she lamented, "Woe to those who say, 'Peace, peace' when there is no peace. Woe to those who have domesticated God. Woe to those who have reinvented God in their own image. Woe to those are a sleep in the storm and do not know how to repent. Has not the church been untethered from God? Where is it moving now? Away from God, toward other gods who destroy their worshippers? Is it not spinning endlessly, blown by every wind of popularity--away from the holy, away from the serious, away from the sober, away from the truth?"
They laughed at her poetic explosions and congratulated themselves on their piety. "You have been reading the wrong writers," they screamed. I come too late," she cried. "Truth decay takes time; bone rot takes time; compromise takes time; cancer takes time. And then time escapes--and it is too late. Or is it?"
The madwomen went from church to church, undaunted by her rejection, yet weeping bitterly as she went. "What are these churches," she mused, "if not the sepulchers and tombstones of God...?
But she spoke to her soul again and again: "I must keep looking, watching, praying. But hope deferred makes the heart sick."