Sunday, April 13, 2008

Questions

Tonight I watched CNN's "Compassion Forum" with Obama and Clinton. I spent most of my time answering the questions they were asked, if that makes sense. It's a pretty good exercise of faith, facing these old, familiar questions...
Like Obama being asked about the world being created in six days--what he might tell his daughters who ask such questions. He said he didn't believe in a literal six days, but that he believes in creation. But I wanted to say, 'but Science and Genesis answer different questions.' Science deals with the question of what, when and how. Genesis (and John!) deals with the question of who and why. Science doesn't care about the who--it doesn't look into that, and Genesis--the whole of scripture-- is always, ultimately, concerned about the who! And these differences make all the difference.

And Hillary being asked another old standby of God allowing suffering (How many times did I hear in my youth, "why does God let all those children starve in Africa?" which is a terrible way to put it--'let?'--but especially because the question so often came from someone who was just trying to trip me up!). That's the hardest faith question there is, probably, and yet, the real question is, 'where is God in MY suffering?' That's what people want to know. That's where they live. Cosmic suffering is a mystery we cannot begin to make sense of, but asking where God is in suffering, might get closer to what we need. And that answer is--He is in it with us. He hurts with us. That sounds trite until we place it in the context of the Incarnation, and then it begins to grip. Because there's suffering involved there, too--suffering and death. And that, too, is a difference that makes all the difference.

And I wanted to answer the abortion question, too. "I believe in life--from beginning to end." It starts at God's hand, and ends the same place. I am pro life in every context. And what that means is that I am anti-abortion, anti-capital punishment, assisted suicide, anti-war. Yet, I reach across the aisle, as one might say, to hold hands with plenty--PLENTY--who don't agree with me. With ones I love who love the military, for example. Ones I know who have had abortions (and I hurt with them for what it cost!), ones (like I have) who have watched loved ones die slow, painful deaths. I've had long discussions with many I love who firmly hold their beliefs, sure that God is in them. Just as I firmly believe He is in mine. It comes down to love in the end, doesn't it? That I love them more than I love my positions, and that they are loved by God more than their positions result in death. And that difference makes all the difference...

Frankly, there is just one thing I will go to the mat about, one thing I will not give an inch on, and it's the question Jesus asked, "Who do you say that I Am?" Who is Jesus Christ? Then, if I know who He is, will I live my life so that I extend His Kingdom--may His Kingdom come--in all my words, written, spoken and lived?

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