Another sunny day here in the northwest. For those of you who think it only rains in this part of the world--you're right. Wink, wink. We don't want the truth let out of the bag that when it's sunny it's green and gorgeous.
SK and I sit out back and watch our dogs frolic across the grass. Frolic isn't a word I use very often. I'm not keen on flowery phrases, but there's no other word for what they're doing. Frolic, scamper, jumping, bobbing and weaving in and out of the shade of the cedar tree. They're as carefree as only dogs can be. Carefree because they have absolute faith that all their needs will be met this day. They will have food in their dishes as soon as they begin to pushing those dishes across the kitchen floor (well, almost as soon--this puppy seems to be hungry about every two minutes). They can flop down and sleep whenever they feel like it and there's always a hand to pet them--all they have to do is nudge someone.
We aren't quite so carefree as our puppies. Would that we were. We get swallowed up by all kinds of worries that take our minds off simple things. We don't quite believe that our needs will be met, that we are loved by our Master, that we can lay down and sleep without worrying about tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
I get this. I do. Right this minute as I sit here, I'm consumed by worry. Worry about some people I love so much I'd switch places with them in an instant to take their pain. I would. I hurt with them, am angry for them about the lot they've been given, about the fire they're in. And there's a very human part of me that wants to shake my fist that such pain is possible. And has landed on them. Yes, I'm so consumed by the pain this sunny morning it's like I'm right there in the dark with them.
Not at God, though. Honestly, not at God. See, I have a very strong belief in the Garden of Eden story. I really do believe that it didn't have to have been this way, that we might have lived in perfect harmony with Him forever and ever, but for one tiny thing. He wanted us to freely, completely love Him in return and, therefore, gave us free will. And that free will meant that we--the first we's--chose other than Him. And then every other we since then has also chosen so. If it hadn't been Eve and Adam, it would have been Tom, Dick and Harry, I think. So blaming God for what we humans have done to mess up seems slightly wrong-headed.
And to blame Him for not stepping in when He actually DID step in seems a little ridiculous. I mean VERY ridiculous. He did step in. He came. He BECAME. And He is our only hope. In any and every situation in which we find ourselves in the dark and lonely places on this earth (and there are plenty) He is the only hope. That's the truth of Calvary. The truth of the empty Cave. Really. The darkest place in human history was the place of the greatest miracle, wasn't it? Jesus' tomb--where He died. It was there, at that moment where all hope seemed to be lost that all hope--where OUR hope!!!--was found.
"He is not here.
He is risen."
Let hope arise in the darkest place. That's the secret of the tomb. Hope can arise right there IN it. Not after it, not by ignoring it, not by looking out the door, or trying to solve it, but IN it. With Jesus Christ there in the dark, in the lonely, in the tomb of whatever. Let hope arise. He is there...
and He will ARISE.