I want to start a wild rumor about my God.
Why? Because I think He'd probably appreciate it.
You know how rumors get started. They are stories based in half-truths and almost-overheards where the details are maybe sorta kinda right but there seems to be something missing, though the overall tone is juicy enough that you can't help but tell it yourself. It's just gossip, really; you don't know all the facts, but it's an incredible story and if it's even half-true, you want to be one of those who got it right. And pretty soon, the story has been swirled and spun and shared so much that everyone has some version of it, some more scandalous than others, and there's nowhere safe for the object of the rumor to go to hide from the stories.
He just has to show Himself.
I think that's why God would appreciate a good, juicy rumor going around about Him. So that when He walks into a room, everything just stops and everyone's mouth hits the floor that He'd have the guts to show up HERE. To show up NOW. To show His face around these parts...when everybody's talking about Him.
See, it would have to be a rumor because of the climate of our culture. We're a people kind of weary of Jesus, even though we're thirsting for Him. And I say that because you can hear the groan. You hear the world whining under the weight of the on-fire-for-Jesus crowd who can't wait to tell you how AWESOME He is and how JOYFUL today is and how BEAUTIFUL life is and how God is THE ANSWER. We look at people like that these days, and we think one of two things: they are crazy or they are hiding something.
Because no one's life is tea and roses. When you're standing out there pretending it is just because you know a man named Jesus, people start to look at Christ as the leader of the Cult with everyone drinking the happy juice and living in oblivion...and that life doesn't work for people. One, it doesn't attract them because it's so far a lost concept as to be ridiculous. And two, for those that try to find your way, what they find is a God that fails them because the world still sucks sometimes. It just does. And we should never set God up to fail someone.
There's nothing wrong with the pain here. There's nothing wrong with having a tough day or wrestling with something in your heart or questioning, yearning and questioning, just what is life. There's nothing wrong with having an honest view of life east of Eden. (And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the excitement of an encounter with God; be excited! Rejoice! Let that moment carry you. Just realize you're going to need that joy to fall back on when life starts sucking again. Because it will. And that's ok. We're far from home.)
That's why I think a rumor works so well. It's soft, in a whisper. It's a story you share with just a few good friends, instead of trying to shout above the world. We know the shouting doesn't work; but a juicy story - that is a tale that carries. A rumor is a story that's not trying to be pretty. It's not trying to be all-powerful. It just is...and it's just what you've heard. You just kind of hint, speak a little here and there. It's based on a half-truth, what little glimpse of Truth we can understand in these shoes, and the almost-overheards, the promises of a God who is faintly whispering into our hearts so we can see - barely, but still see - the form of where He's taking us. And we just speak that story. To one another. To a friend here, a neighbor there.
It's an incredible story, and when you take the risk to share a few details of your version with a friend, they share a few details of your version and add a few of theirs and share that with another friend, who adds their own details and shares that with another until the whole world is whispering about a God who has taken their hearts captive with little glimpses of His truth in this life and that one and that one over there.
Then, when God shows up, everything just stops and everyone's mouth his the floor. That He'd show up here. That He would be. Here. That He is just as our rumor might have found Him and infinitely more. Because our stories have some version of the Truth in them, and His simply standing there is going to answer the hollow places.
And I picture God knowing the rumor, knowing the ways we've whispered about Him, knowing the stories we've shared, knowing we were all just talking about Him...and loving it. And I picture Him just kind of smiling.
So whaddya say? Do you want to start a wild rumor about God with me? I bet we could get the world talking....