Hugh Hewitt is right.At the moment, just now, there is too much pain in the world.An ailing Pope is suffering in Rome.Terri Schiavo is being legally murdered in Florida. She experiences the agony of forced starvation.And now in Minnesota a boy too young to vote has destroyed his own life and the lives of others. Families suffer and it horrifies me to think of even trying to say something to comfort the survivors.Will someone now allow us to ask if our media culture of violence is good for the weakest in our midst? Will someone now allow us to ask if family structure should not center in children? Can we mourn a school culture where the weakest and the least attractive are marginalized, even by Christians?I know there is a God and that He is good. I know evil is real and that it is the source of all the pain and suffering. I know that He would not have it so, but allows it. It must be better so.And yet it is hard to face.How can we live in such a world?My temptation is to retreat from it. If I just turn on my much played DVD of Mary Poppins, then perhaps all of this will go away. Can’t I just go fly a kite?But it is Lent, and in the West almost Good Friday. It is a time to face the reality of pain and movies like Mary Poppins are off my viewing list for a bit. Why? Because this is the time of year Christians force themselves to face the fact that just now the Kingdom of Heaven is not fully realized on Earth. Just now we are too far from the Heavenly City where all pain and suffering will be gone, or obviously meaningful, to feel comfort that we are her citizens.I take comfort at such a dark moment in this. I serve a God who became man. And Jesus wept. Jesus, the God Man, stood before the tomb of his friend and wept. He knows our pain. He knows hurt. And then He allowed Himself to suffer in the ultimate act of solidarity with us. The weeping God is also the God who promises to make all things new and to take care that justice will be done.In my foolish despair, I find it hard to trust His power. Power seems frightful. Power kills innocent women in hospital. Power gives children the ability to do what they should not be able to do. Who can trust omnipotence?Except it is in His scarred hands. He been on the receiving end of power’s abuse. He knows the pain of untimely death. I can trust the Weeping God.
Essay / Theology