Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live faithfully...in the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This Old World...

There are certainly seasons in my life when I am so in love with all that beauty of this world that my heart aches with the thought that I'd ever need to leave. Such moments unfold in the midst of good honest conversations by candlelight, or when topping out a hard climb, or sitting in the backyard during a quiet sunrise with the birds singing their own doxology, or when doubled over with laughter while with friends or family.

But it's also true that there are days when I know exactly what Paul means when he says, "to be with Christ is better". Today is one of those days, as wave upon wave of suffering and loss of have pummeled my soul in the past few days. The cyclone hit, leaving untold thousands dead, and multiples of that number displaced in a nation whose leaders couldn't possibly care less about their own people and are hoarding relief supplies while the suffering and disease grow by the hour. Then there was an earthquake in China. In the midst of this I heard from friends, a young married couple. The husband received more bad news about a blood disease, and things look even more challenging. Another good friend died of brain cancer, and I just returned from the doing the funeral.

My God. I'm tired of the intrusion of disease and death, of suffering and loss, of doubt and betrayal, of violence and darkness. Maranatha means "Come quickly Lord Jesus!" and the invitation is a real one. How I long for the day when all this will be behind us, and only that which has its origin in Christ will remain. That's something worth waiting for; living for; dying for. The funeral from which I just returned was that of man who lived in such a way that this hope oozed out of his very being, contagiously, like a good virus. God, make me that kind of person - fill me with that kind of hope. And as long as I'm asking for things, "maranatha..."

3 Comments:

At 13/5/08 23:13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

courageous candor Richard, to be sure. Thank you for that kind of transparency. A friend and I were talking about my situation on Saturday and all I could say that was politely positive was that it is certainly a test of faith that never seems to let up, but that it was developing in me a kind of perseverance towards my ultimate peace. She said something that I told her I would plagarize and this makes the third time since then; "We are not here for our happiness, but for our holiness." I feel like the best confession of faith I can make right now is that I have learned to be content in every situation.

 
At 15/5/08 08:00, Blogger bunabear said...

Richard,
Your post is such a intimate description of how beautiful and fragile our world can be. Our challenge is to remember that God is there always, even in the mess of things. Thank you for another thought provoking post.

 
At 15/5/08 11:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maranatha - Lord come quickly...

Amen - let it be so...

 

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