Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The story's not over

It's funny those days that seem to start out normal and end up with a theme.
On Monday I got overwhelmed with a couple situations that are like juggernauts for me—I can't figure them out, and so I can't fix them. Also, they're painful, and they make me really wrestle with God's sovereignty, which in turn makes me want to get a better grip on the problem of evil. And if I want to fix them because of my love for the people involved, it's hard for me to understand God's delay.
So I was just praying a little about it and I felt like a provisional answer came: The story isn't over yet. That was a bit of a comfort.
Then I was watching the last part of "The Closer" (my parents' Monday night show), and, well, it's hard to make a short story of it. Suffice it to say Brenda Lee bonds with a young shooting victim as he dies thinking she's his mom. Then she finds his killer. It turns out his old girlfriend said he raped her, so she could explain her pregnancy to a very angry dad. Her brother heard and got angry, and shot the ex-boyfriend. Brenda Lee gets really angry at the daughter and dad while the other cops chase down the fleeing brother. It made me realize that it would be easy to be sympathetically make excuses for each character—but less so when you learn the bigger picture. Each person could've made the right choice. Sometimes the complexity helps. Knowing that God is at the same time the offended party, the judge, the prosecuting attorney, the close kin of the victims and something altogether different—their creator—the only one with the big picture and the full story.*
Then, my Dad randomly read me this quote from Sam Gamgee (quoted in a book he's reading). It's the part where Sam realizes that he and Frodo are actually in the stories they grew up on. "Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy?...But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer....folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't." Hmmm...just what I needed to hear.
Then I clicked on my friend Lorrie's post in honor of the anniversary of the destruction of the Berlin wall. Besides providing some absolutely hilarious moments of spoken German, it's an inspiring video. Who expected it to ever come down? At the end two long-lost relatives hug and the woman says, "Imagine if it's always like this." And the words scroll down "Thank you, Mr. Gorbachev, for making the impossible possible." How many people dared to hope it would end that way?
I also tracked down the lyrics to a couple Andrew Peterson lyrics—The Silence of God and After The Last Tear Falls. I recommend them.
So, I still need to re-tackle the problem of evil. But I'll do it a little at a time, and know the story's not over yet.

*There may well be something theologically wrong with this sentence. If so, feel free to point it out, but try to make it actually helpful for me in thinking through these things, not just debating for its own sake. Thanks. ( :