Tuesday, March 29, 2005


The death of Stanley Grenz, the death of my boss's brother-in-law, the near death of Dick Hillis, the death of Christ (celebrated 5 days ago). Death. It strikes hard on the poor, hard on the rich, hard on the powerful, hard on the daily, hardest on the families. Or hardest on God (John 11:35, "Jesus was weeping")?

Why so hard? I shall venture this: we were not made to handle death. We do not have the "tools" necessary to deal with it. Like trying to build a home not with a framing hammer but a rubber mallet. It looks like it should accomplish the job, somehow. But it does not. It's fiction.

Figure this: hope and faith are NOT something we are supposed to have. They are remedial. It has been churning in my mind for a while that "faithfulness" is NOT supposed to be a statement about one's actions, a trajectory of expected behavior. It is a state-of-being, "He is faithful" -- not "He faithfully acts." Did Adam and Eve have "faith" in God? No. They KNEW Him! He IS faithful. Do I have "faith" in gravity. No, I just assume the Earth gravitates(?). Most people who have lived on Earth never even thought about gravity. It just . . . is. So is God's faithfulness. Adam and Eve were with God, they knew Him. Faith is the assurance of things NOT seen, no? But once sin and then death are introduced, faith becomes paramount.

And hope. We might be made for surprise, but not hope. Hope has the potential of not happening. An illusion at a magic show does not require hope, but it does entail surprise. We know something is going to happen, just not what. It would be another thing if I did an magic show. THEN there we be the need for hope!

Now that we have death-of-vital/intimate-relationship with God, we have to have hope. Paul's great 3: faith, hope, and love. And the first two are remedial. Amazing. They are foundational to living on this Earth, but they only usher us into the real life, the one we were meant for. Like a virus in the belly of a faith/hope mosquito. We eventually get deposited where we were supposed to live, to flourish.

How bizarre. We are not supposed to have faith and hope. We were not actually made for them. They are guides, gifts, protection. Until we see Him, face to face. Fully revealed to Him and to each other. The REAL light of day.

[for the record, I am NOT condoning a "live however" life because this world is a joke - just wait for heaven. this is simply an observation about humans. this is no way changes that I do live with faith and hope and more so a love for God and people and even respect for this planet. if a futurical point-of-view is captured from this post, then this post has been misread]

1 comment:

Ty said...

God is love - therefore isn't love remedial as well? If we experience God then we experience love. I know that love is a verb, but is it not also a noun - I am faithful, I am hopeful, I am loving; faithful to God, hopeful for his surprises, and loving toward those in my path? But with all three of these our selfishness gets in the way and we no longer take the remedy they offer but insanely think that we can rely on ourselves to solve the problem. But death solves the problem by giving us a way back, a cure - death is remedial, it is what 'ushers us into the real life, the one we were meant for.'