John Gavazzoni
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The Gavazzonis'

By John Gavazzoni

I believe there may be more than a few fellow believers who will be able to relate to the following admission of personal spiritual, emotional and intellectual angst. If you live far above any such subjective state, then you're in celestial territory I have yet to reach existentially, and I will understand if already, at my very mention of such a pedestrian condition, you may be going "tsk, tsk, this is so sad, I can't see any reason for me to read further; John obviously has nothing to offer me." If that's the case, feel free to delete this confession, since, in all fairness, I delete a lot of stuff that comes my way after only reading a paragraph or two.

But in the hope that you, my fellow-lesser pilgrims, may find some encouragement and support by my so doing, I offer the following peak into my sometimes (maybe more often than not) troubled soul: I am periodically, and it seems, even cyclically, caught in a tension between a certain disposition to seek the garden of delight within that would increasingly involve abandoning all objective scrutiny of, and participation in, the general spiritual/religious scene, and the seemingly contradistinctive disposition to analyze, comment on, and definitively describe the same.

I have, in other writings, defined the heart, as used in scripture, as the center of our existential self which is formed by all that our intellect and emotions feed into it--- with all the religious, cultural, familial, etc. influences that are brought to bear upon both. There, in my heart, I definitely find that am subject to these two dispositions that both present strong arguments for which of the two ought to have the greater focus of my attention.

If, as some brethren have told me, John GavazzoniI have been enabled by the grace of God to bring to the fellowship table of the saints some measure of an edifying mix of the above, I am humbly grateful to the Lord. But, I do want you all to know that it has been at the price of, yes, irritating, annoying, disturbing angst. I long to be freed from this point of tension, and to simply walk in the Way with Jesus and have His loving presence cut through the complexities that my objectively-inclined disposition constantly faces, so that anyone happening by and noticing our mutual delight in one another would instantly "know the love God has for us." I long to reach out and touch that anyone, and say, "Such as I have, I give you, your sins are forgiven you; be made every whit whole. Now embrace with me, this Wonderful One who died and rose again for you, and know that it is He who has made you whole."

My soul longs for the perfect to come. Though I do relish being given a good, definitive word to edify the church, and the measure of satisfaction that comes with it, there still remains that tedious element that belongs to all that is "in part." There is a "high" that immediately accompanies being granted liberty in declaring the Word of God, and the high lasts briefly, but it ALWAYS is followed by a let-down that comes from knowing that I have spoken as a child, understood as a child, and thought as a child.

I have actually, at times, entertained the thought of sending out a general letter to all those within my loop of fellowship, to quit asking my opinion on spiritual subjects, to not ask me what I think of such and such, or what this verse or that verse means. But in the midst of that angst, we have the assurance that faith, hope and love, abide. Those characteristics of Christ in us will remain with us until we have, by them, put off childish things.

I long to know all men, especially those of the household of faith, and of course, myself included, no longer after the flesh, but according to the Spirit, WITHOUT having to face objectively their and my own (it takes me longer to recognize my own) present maddening idiocy.

So, to repeat, I experience this tension: One disposition calls to me to subjectively, in the most childlike way, seek to meet Jesus in the depths of the humanness He has shared with me, and to there, know Him, Jesus of Nazareth, as Christ, our life. But the other disposition calls to me to recognize the need for a certain objectivity, and to seek to discerningly define what "Him, with whom we have to do," actually means. I'd best repeat that in other words: I'm also disposed to raise the issue of orthodoxy in the best sense of the word----what does this or that that God has said, really mean?

Now, I expect that you will receive this as what it is, a transparent sharing of a particular internal struggle, the struggle with a point of tension that just might be used of the Lord as a point of connectedness among us, and that you will respect it as such.

John GavazzoniJohn Gavazzoni
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