The Dawn of a New Day.
Yeah it’s not nearly as cool as “THE DARK NIGHT”…but man we sure could use it. The other day I posted about the movie The Dark Knightand there was some really good discussion that came out of it. Watching the movie triggered some deep emotions from me that seemed kind of weird on the surface but after processing it I have realized that it’s really not all that weird or unexpected. The reality is that I have been wrestling over these issues for some time.
So I’ve been posting everywhere how my heart is broken and that I am generally angry. It’s got some people a little freaked I suppose. Ok well, it probably does freak most people out, but I am really thankful for those who have the courage and take the time to engage me. The other day I hijacked a friends blog (she asked me to) and posted a comment that begins to push me toward a deeper realization and better understanding of life here on earth. My friend just returned from a trip to India where she spent time loving people who are literally outcast by their society. The subject of suffering was brought up and the question asked “Does God allow suffering?”. Here was my response to that question:
Here is where I am at on this issue, and I admit up front that I really don’t know much simply because I haven’t experienced much. I’ve seen some firsthand, but not much in terms of my own life has been spent suffering. I always feel like a newborn infant trying to comprehend some complex theory of physics…I don’t have the capacity and in some ways it’s not really my business.
I agree with you that suffering is a product of the free will that God has gifted the human race. In his desire to have a true relationship with humanity he required that we have the choice in having a relationship with him. (Though even this is a bit confusing because angels appearantly had a choice, look at what happened to Satan?) So evil and suffering are the result of humans chosing opposite of God’s will. God’s will being that all mankind be reconciled to him through his Son Jesus Christ. But this is where the beauty of God shines through. God sent His Son to suffer and to show that in suffering comes the greatest revelation of his love and his grace. As dark as things can get here on earth there is another reality. 1. God has rescued us from death and eternal darkness. 2. His presence is here for us to rely upon in those times. So it is not so much that God allows suffering, but more that God seeks to rescue and comfort those who suffer. We often get it backwards. This is where my heart really takes off. I am an agent of peace and joy sent and empowered by God through his Spirit to comfort the uncomfortable, to console the unconsolable, to do whatever I can, wherever I am, with whatever I have to alleviate suffering for the glory of God.
I know that there are alot of people who struggle with this issue and that this issue has caused many to completely lose their faith in God. I believe that it is because we get it backwards. We blame God for the suffering and evil in this world as if we as humans are not culpable. Truly God could have created the world and not allowed evil and suffering. But that would have required that we as humans have no choice, and choice is what makes us truly dangerous and powerful. I don’t know about you but I want to be dangerous and I want to be powerful. I want to be able to make choices that make a difference in this life and the next. And I don’t say that lightly because I recognize how much pain and suffering is caused even by my own choices ( just ask my family ;). )
So what dangerous choices are you faced with? Do you see yourself as an agent of mercy and grace?