Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The Twisting Agony and The Relentless Hope
Some days, all we have is hope.
Two teenagers are dead. Two are seriously injured. Round and round we go again. A drunk driver chooses darkness, and the worlds of 4 families double over. Calamity. Catastrophe. His own life, too, is permanently devastated. The grip of the fall squeezes hard again, reminding us, oh, reminding us in our half asleep state, how dangerous it is to make this fragile present our all in all . And today, all I can do is what David did in the Psalms…lament, get angry, weep and, God help me, continue to hope.
The vaporous delights of this earth must eventually bump up against its miseries. Perhaps I sound like a pessimist. I am striving not to be. Straining against pain and anguish at the fallout for my own child of someone else’s sin, I have grappled with this first hand. It is a relentless choice to remember the foamy waves of Coast Guard Beach, the flavor of Stewart’s raspberry chocolate swirl frozen yogurt, the big, silly yawn of my tortoise shell cat…and the thousands of other blessings that make this darkness tolerable. When all is, as Herman Melville so aptly put it, “…a damp, drizzly November in my soul…” I lean hard on ancient truths. I remember this was never the plan…dead children, cancer wards, open sewers through Port au Prince, heroin addiction, gambling addiction, food addiction, alcohol addiction, prayerlessness, joylessness, hopelessness. These were all foreign to the One who made wind, green grass, open seas, life in the womb, light bursting forth, relationship, friendship, love!
“God is light. In Him there is NO DARKNESS AT ALL.”
1 John 1:5
I understand the question. The big WHY. I have spoken it loud myself, banging hard on the floor, kicking against the very walls of the only boat keeping me from drowning. There are many why’s tonite, as parents order coffins for lifeless ones who brimmed life 48 hours before. They will groan, and writhe and stand stupefied…and I stand with them, and pray they will one day renew their hope.
God is light. But He entered into our darkness. The most pure and righteous, the very bone and sinew of life and beauty, subjected the most beloved of His heart to a cruel death at the hands of human beings on a devastated planet. He refused to stand by and watch our pain, brought forth by the wretchedness of our collective turning from light to darkness. He spoke once and finally in a great, broken-hearted voice of a father grieving over the pain of the great cost of free will. He crashed through eternity into time, to a dusty, backwoods Israeli town, knee deep in animal waste and stink. From here, without ever taking away our right to choose, He called us back to His heart with mind bending mercy. Not from the throne of heaven did He weep, but from the torture of a cross, fully acquainted with our grief.
So many prayers for the family and friends of all those involved in the terrible DWI crash on Saturday night. It makes no sense. There are no convenient answers to the big WHY. But hope remains. Tenacious, scrappy, unrelenting hope. He sees. He knows. He is Emmanuel...God with us.
Your friend on the pilgrim road,