Thursday, December 22, 2005


...and faith is not a simple thing. It's complex -- everything is just so bloody complicated. There are all sorts of things cluttering it up. that vast flock of birds that come and eat up the seeds on the wayside. You just know how messy birds are. I think cleaning up their mess was one of the Labours of Hercules.

How can we make it simple?

There's the story someone tells, about the trial of God. Not my wonderful eponymous effort -- no, this was a real trial of God -- like, where they put God on trial, for real.

In a Nazi concentration camp, the horror of the world could no longer be ignored. And the captive Jews, pressed beyond all endurance, could do nothing but question whether or not God was actually good. Being a people of law, they dealt with the issue through a trial. This happened.

A prosecutor was appointed, and a defense council, and a panel of judges, and a jury -- everything that was needed. So there, in the grim, gray, threadbare and icy barracks of the death camp, evidence and argument was brought forward. By the Jews. Against God. All the formalities were observed, and the summations made, and the jury deliberated. And the verdict was, of course, inevitably, a finding of guilt. Whatever the charge -- perjury, fraud, murder ... every crime ever committed -- whatever the charge, and memory fails here, the verdict was, "Guilty."

And then, as it was approaching sundown, on the eve of the Sabbath, they rose from their seats, and went, each man, to his evening prayers.

Is it a contradiction? Certainly not. A child loves the drunken father who beats him.

But it wasn't a fair trial. Because the chief witness for the defense wasn't called. And there is an advocate, who should have been called but wasn't. You know, of course, the name. He was there, waiting to hear his name. If anyone did utter it, it was only as a curse. But I expect it went unspoken.

Do you think, do you imagine, that you know anything about compassion? I'm sure you know pride, more than him. I certainly do -- I have this in common with Satan -- one of several shared traits. But any suffering we feel, He knows it more. Any anguish that torments our hearts, He always feels it. Shall we speak of injustice? Speak first His name -- because he went on trial once, too. Remember? Are there earthquakes and storms? I know a day when such things happened, and He died. Do we see horror and atrocity? What was the view from the cross?

Sometimes what is complex becomes simple, just by changing our perspective.

Faith is a small coin with which to buy salvation. Less than a mite. Faith is just another word for trust. If there was ever a man I could trust, it's Jesus. That's pretty simple.


No comments: