Previously, in Joel’s blog, we (a guy named Hafiz, to be precise) suggested that “complaint is only possible while living in the suburbs of God.”

I like that for many reasons . . . most of which I’m not going to discuss right now.

The thought that’s stuck like an earworm in my neocortex is that proximity to God is not necessarily the antidote to complaint, but may in fact be its prerequisite. I’m not saying that God inspires complaint. . . . Um, okay, I guess I sort of am.

A fundamental discontent stirs as we awaken to the presence of the Holy One. When our discontent responds in gratitude and hope, I believe it manifests in an increasingly insatiable desire that propels us toward Him, that motivates all of the illogically, incomprehensibly sublime acts of faith.

On the other hand, the awakening is also a realization of everything that’s wrong–with ourselves, with the world, with life as we know it. We feel many of the same core emotions; it’s just that sometimes we’re looking the wrong way.

The best I’ve been able to work it out so far is that complaint is the buttward approach to the Throne of Grace.