Tuesday, January 17, 2012

With a Quiver in our Voices

From John Polkinghorne, in Socrates in the City:

    "We live in a  world that is remarkably fruitful and beautiful, remarkably chilling and frightening and destructive. It is a very ambiguous sort of picture, and somehow or other, the bad things are the cost of the good things. That is not an argument you can utter without a quiver in your voice. The world is too complex and strange for that.
    A Christian understanding of God's relationship to suffering is not that God is simply a compassionate spectator looking down on the strange and bitter world that God holds in being. As a Christian, I believe that God is participating in the suffering of the world, that God is truly a fellow sufferer. The Christian God is the crucified God. That is a very deep and mysterious, though, I believe, true insight." 

     I was in Columbus, Ohio once when a massive ice storm rolled through.  The next morning, the world appeared to be covered in diamonds.  I loved it - until I had to drive.  The following morning, after a day in which the beauty of the ice brought destruction to dozens of vehicles, the Columbus Dispatch quoted one resident who said something along the lines of, "The world is so beautiful but so full of pain."
    All of creation groans, as if it remembers what it once was and once again will be.  As we wait for the day when all will be well, we embrace the moments of glory that give us such lovely glimpses of heaven in the midst of a broken world.

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