“For the passion of our Lord is comfort to us against all this, and so is His blessed will. And for the tender love that our good Lord has to all that shall be saved, He comforts readily and sweetly, meaning thus, ‘It is true that sin is the cause of all this pain, but all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.'” (Julian of Norwich)
Last week on my flight from Cincinnati to Dallas, one of the engines on the airplane simply stopped working.
Love and Salt is one of the hardest books I have read in a long time. Maybe because it offers few answers—just a pile of human emotions and questions that I can so easily enter into. I can’t enter into their sufferings but I can see myself in their doubts, fears, and struggles.
Sometimes it seems we are all walking the edge of a cliff: the fine line between belief and unbelief.
I am told God is good, yet there are tsunamis and floods and lost airplanes and babies taken from their mothers.
Even if we don’t believe that it is within God’s nature to be the source of this suffering, the questions still remain. If this is not directly from God’s hand, but a result of man’s free choice to sin, does He not still promise that He loves us? Why doesn’t He at least come and intervene in all of it? Where is that love?
Travis says that the orthodox church traditionally teaches that if God was not always intervening, the world would have torn itself to shreds long ago. He says we must always remember that we do not know just how much God intervenes.
At times this seems a small comfort when I don’t see God intervening in a pregnancy heading towards an early death, or healing one of my dearest friends from a life-threatening illness. It is hard to accept that sometimes—from our human vision, at least—He does not intervene. I want answers, but they often come only in small pieces, shards of something that we can never quite make into a whole. So I must always come back to the necessity of hope. Of faith. Of choosing to fall to that side of the cliff that is belief. Because on that side there is hope of life. The hope that all shall be made new. The hope that these questions will fall away in the face of Him who is Love beyond all telling.
Maybe I was on that airplane to show me that God intervenes. The second engine still worked, and we landed on solid ground.