What is my blog is all about:

Anything and everything good, true, beautiful, perplexing, mysterious, unfair, painful, funny. In short: the human condition

Friday, April 22, 2011


I've been thinking alot about hurt lately. Not the surface cut on your finger kind but the walk across a sun seared dessert strewn with shards of glass and no shoes on your feet kind. The kind that even Johnny Cash's song "Hurt" can't quite express. The hurt is almost worse when you see someone else's pain because at the end of the day there isn't much you can do. You can't forgive the perpetrators for them. You can't bring the loved one back for them. You can't undo the humiliations they have had to suffer for things society can't tolerate.
I watched a documentary on the Beslan school massacre. If any of you can bear to recall, that was the place where hundreds of little pigtailed and best suited school children were held hostage and slaughtered. On the BBC documentary a little boy who survived recalled asking his father "dad, who is stronger the terrorists or God?" I sat on the couch thinking "what in the world could this father possibly be able to say to a child who has witnessed such unspeakable acts of inhumanity?" and the boy said the father told him "God is. Because God is kind". So I will try to honor all of you who are hurting by attempting to extend kindness to anyone who wrongs me. And in that way we can tell those that have hurt us that there is something stronger than their evil. It's all I know how to do right now.

Friday, April 15, 2011

American Civil War and the Kingdom

As its 150th anniversary is underway, Philip and I watched Ken Burns's documentary on the American Civil War. In the final episode Ken Burns recounts the first reunion of Union and Confederate soldiers at Gettysburg following the Civil War. The soldiers met for a meal and then gathered for a reinacting of the famous and bloody Picket's charge. The old war veterans lined up on either side and ran toward each other just as they had done so many years before. But this time when they met they did not fall on each other in combat intent on killing each other but instead embraced, tears streaming down their faces. It is a beautiful picture of forgiveness and redemption.
And it made me think. Maybe one of the activites of the kingdom will be similar to the reunion. Maybe the Kingdom will be a place of great "undoing". Maybe those moments that I would give anything to redo (that hurtful word I said, that friendship I didn't take seriously enough, that hungry homeless guy I didn't feed) will be brought back and reinacted for all to see to the glory of God and the good of humanity. Maybe all the pain and inhumanity we have wreaked on each other will actually display God's glory as He shows us a better way and gives us the chance to do it again the right way, the way a patient father models good behaviour for an erring child. Maybe part of the healing of the nations will be in each of us viewing with unveiled faces the example of Christ and fixing the wounds of those we have wronged.
Maybe at the "moment of eternal harmony" love really does win in the end.