Tuesday, February 10, 2004

There is a disappointment that comes when we long to help those who do not desire help. When we realize the limits of what can be done with the unwilling and self-defeating, even self-contradicting actions of those who say they want peace, hope, joy and love, but stoutly refuse it. God is God. Jesus is the Savior. In our arrogance we postulate what we would do if we were God . . . but to let God work in the lives of others - that takes faith.

I good friend sent me the following quote from Nicholas Wolterstorff, which I've been keeping on my desk and which continues to speak to me:

God is love. That is why he suffers. To love our suffering sinful world is to suffer. God so suffered for the world that he gave up his only Son to suffering. The one who does not see God's suffering does not see his love. God is suffering love.

So suffering is down at the center of things, deep down where the meaning is. Suffering is the meaning of our world. For Love is the meaning. And Love suffers. The tears of God are the meaning of history.
But mystery remains. Why isn't Love-without-suffering the meaning of things? Why is suffering-Love the meaning? Why does God endure his suffering? Why does he not at once relieve his agony by relieving ours?

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