Thursday, January 14, 2010

God and Haiti

I'm no expert on religious thought. When bad things happen, I only understand these possible reasons:
  • our agony provides a reminder of God, and a pathway to God
  • bad things make good things both identifiable and precious.

Wrote the following in 2005. It's pretty simple, but rings true, and is my best understanding. Am open to learning more.

It is our lot to be courageous one moment, fearful the next, then courageous again. The cycle is never-ending, because we never "make it" in this life. We never get to a place of solid and constant courage. If we are to be courageous, we must summon it again and again.

There are sparks of divine grace in those summonings. Glimmers of God. The sparks and glimmers cue us to turn our faces to God; and to wonder at the loving gifts he bestows upon us, and at His perfect plan.

For instance, why does a loving God allow fear in our lives? In his novel "Gates of Fire," Stephen Pressfield asserts that the opposite of fear is love. Maybe God allows fear so as to prompt us to turn towards Him, and to let ourselves be washed in His love - the true antidote for fear. Maybe God does everything so as to prompt us to turn towards Him.

Consider: If God allowed us to become constantly courageous, could we then still identify fear? Some of my loved ones have died. My love for them lives on, but my memory of the contours of their faces dims with time. I reassure myself: "Oh, their faces were like this...." But, were they really? Similarly, if I were constantly courageous, would the memory of fear fade, like the memories of the faces of my loved ones?

Without a close familiarity with fear, could we anymore identify courage? What would we measure it against? Courage would be constant, normal, mundane, taken for granted. Could we anymore identify a spark of divine grace in that courage? Would that avenue to God, paved with sparks and glimmers, be then shut off to us forever?


emjay said...

One of my favorite quotes, "Courage is not the lack of fear, it is acting in spite of it."

gcotharn said...

I like it.

Bob said...

and, I like the thoughts you have written.

gcotharn said...

Thank you, Bob.