Nov 11, 2022 |
Rector's Blog, God and Terrible Things| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Rector's Blog, God and Terrible Things
Let me say the hardest thing first, so that you can check out early if you want to: I don’t believe God is weak or powerless. And that means I believe God allows terrible things to happen. And I believe that I will never fully understand this reality. That may seem like a copout to you, and if so, that’s fair enough. But let me say this: I find it odd that we think that we should be able to understand God, God’s decisions, and God’s actions fully in order to believe in God. I don’t understand my wife and I sure believe in her. I don’t even understand myself most of the time, but I believe in me too.
We say we’re made in God’s image, and I’ve come to believe our unfailing inscrutability is one of the things that makes us like God. To say God is mysterious may sound trite, but I still believe it. Because I believe life and love are endlessly mysterious, and God is Love, and God made life. We want God to be the answer of so many things, but so often God is the question.
The second thing I want to say is that I believe God plays the long game. This may actually be my least favorite thing about God. But it’s also one of those areas where both Scripture and my personal experience are so consistent, that I have no choice but to believe it. I am writing this in the aftermath of another Election Day – a day that seemed to have enough disappointment in it for everyone. And I notice the yearning that bubbles up within myself each Election Day. Every time, regardless of previous experience, I feel myself wanting the outcome to be clear and definitive. I want justice in one fell swoop. I don’t just want my team to win – I want it to be 100%, as if we could all wake up one day on the same page. I don’t want to hear that line about the arc of the moral universe anymore. I’m tired of it. I want things to be made right – right now.