St. Complicated

Somebody asked me if a 6-day creation was literal. And of course I said “who cares?”, since a 6-day creation is the least impressive thing I read in your book of beginnings. But that thing you did when you separated light from darkness and water from sky and land from sea? Now that is really something. So clearly defined, so unambiguous…everything marked and ordered. I really don’t understand how you do that.

That’s all well and good enough I suppose—if that’s what your into. But I’ve been building this cathedral dedicated to St. Complicated. A coward, I retreat into my sanctuary and cower under the stained glass. Down here it’s not so ordered—light from dark and sky from land and land from sea—we don’t have time for that here, and after all we’re on a schedule. Is it really so bad that I mistake my complexity for sophistication? That I am not courageous enough to be simple in the ways you are simple?

The way you love is dazzling in its simplicity; the posture of your heart is stunningly direct. Especially in contrast to my blasphemous additions and amendments and “improvements.” You make it all look so easy— but it strikes me that what you do is quite hard, and so I craft these winding labyrinths for my own protection. And what my edifices lack in elegance, I will make up for by making them more involved, more difficult, more demanding. Convoluted as it might be, I am an artisan, practicing my craft since I could talk. And is there not a place where I could have built enough columns and decorated enough altars for you to say I’ve come too far to come back now—for you to tell me that I as might as well finish this monstrosity the way I started it?

St. Complicated has no wonders that we might vindicate but oh so many signs—I just don’t know what they mean. But he is no less my patron saint. You do understand of course that we are in a building project and it’s a bit late to go changing things now? It would seem that you might set fire to all of this, that you have no regard for what has taken me the better part of my life to build. If only I could explain to you how much comfort my seasoned complexity brings to myself and to others!

We both know this is a sanctuary. We both know there is safety in what I’ve built. You seem rather insistent that most of all its keeping us safe from you. But you may not be taking into account how disruptive you really are and just how many hours I’ve put into the architecture around here.

And I would try to explain it better, but clarity is not exactly my bag. Just take my word for it—it’s complicated.