Thursday, June 17, 2010

On Reading and Living Job

I've been reading Job.

Without going into any details, the past year has been very hard on my wife and I, and we are both a a very down place. It just so happened that my Bible reading plan recently put me in the Book of Job - and oh did it seem relevant!

A lot of us in the blog-o-sphere* are still mourning the loss of Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, to cancer back in April. Recently his widow, Denise Spencer, posted a heart-breakingly honest article called Sometimes It's Just Plain Hard about the ugliness of death, even for Christians. After reading that, I saw this piece by David Wayne, aka "The Jolly Blogger" -The Truth is Uglier Than We Think, God is More Beautiful Than we Realize. David is fighting his own battle with cancer. David said this regarding Denise Spencer's piece.
She didn't put it this way, but Christians know the glory story but they don't know the cross story. The glory story is that the Christian path is one of glory, observable, overcoming, obviously seen glories as the Christian triumphs over all his enemies. Thus, the Christian has ears to hear the stories of miraculous healings and beatific deaths because those are glory stories. These people live in a world where we can practice a mechanistic kind of magic with God.,,,,

...The cross story says that suffering is the path of the Christian. If you are a Christian, more than likely you will not go gently into that good night...The ugly truth is that the fall still applies and the fall means that the Christian path is a cross bearing path - if you are a Christian expect that life will be harder than you initially imagined it would
There are aspects of the knowledge of God that only come during the down times, the suffering times, the hurting and lonely times. We are in that now. Ours is not to the level of death, but it sometimes feels close to that level of pain. I can only pray that we will come out of it knowing him in a deeper way, and knowing that he is more beautiful then we realize.

* Yes, I know it sounds pretentious to place myself in the "blog-o-sphere", as if I belonged in the same league with Michael Spencer and David Wayne. I am conscious of my own limitations.