Friday, September 10, 2010

Calamity

On the heels of capricious calamity come the questions of cause and effect.  A fire ignites and renders ashes.  A whirlwind sweeps homeland away.  Disease creeps into the bloodstream.  The innocent are crushed by wicked might.  The womb becomes a grave, the hands are emptied, the heart is broken… .a tower falls in Siloam…
Two widows enter Bethlehem and there are questions.
The human mind is interested, “What are all the reasons for this?”  We need to know why.  There must be an origin.  There must be a fault yet buried.  Who, might I ask, is to blame?
O, most certainly I am adding to the story.  We don’t know what questions traveled those Bethlehem streets, however, I am borrowing my thoughts from human nature and from a short encounter in Luke 13:1-5: “There were some present at that very time who told about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And he answered them. ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”  The Savior, the Coming Goel, did not answer the questions buzzing through their minds and blurring their hearts.  Cause and effect was a human game He did not play.  Had the judgment already come?  No, it would come at the end of the age.  The oppression of the wicked, the tower of Siloam, the barren wombs, impoverished hands and their lonely widows were not wrecked by the heartless power of a whimsical, capricious deity…. .they were stinging reminders of a broken and brawling universe weighted down with the presence of sin in its relentless adversity against Divinity and humanity.
What was the question again?  Ah, yes… .the question is somewhere in here: “And the leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’  Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean,” Mark 1:40-42.  The question was not, “Why does the leper have leprosy?”  The question is, “Will you, Jesus, heal?” and the answer is, “I will”.
He does not answer our concern for judgment; for blame or cause and effect.  He did not give His ear to our whispers.  He did not play our foolish games.  His nose was not sniffing out sin….
 He answers only our imploring and kneeling.  He answers only our plea to be healed…. .and He now answers our plea for the leper, the widow, our brother and sister, the oppressed and destitute, the broken and insane, and even our enemies, to be healed.  The Goel has come!

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