Friday, August 22, 2008


I am ridden by a sense of foreboding. Disaster waits just out of sight. It's not even depression. Not the usual beast. I don't know its name.

I just want to be left alone. I want silence. I want to be buried. I want to breathe.

I want to escape.

There was some talk in the news about a boy scout camp hit by a tornado. How could God allow it, they wondered. Some wise talk about God's mind not being the mind of man. Well, yes. My answer, learned in a previous decade, would be the Tower of Siloam. Why do the innocent suffer. And Jesus said, Just don't you worry about that. Tend to yourself. I paraphrase. We are told to care, and not to care. But the answer that I believed, when they were discussing the tornado, is that God does not care. Not as we can understand it. It's just that his concerns are not our concerns. But it boils down to the fact that God does not protect the innocent.

How would we know if he does? By the bad things that don't happen? The near misses? How is that not bad luck, any more than it is good luck? It's a warning? Of what, that disaster may strike? We have only to hear the news, to know that. We feel the strong wind, and don't know if it will break a drought or drop a striking serpent from the sky. Even the blessings we have are uncertain. Loss trails us like shadows, and we know it not in spite of but because of the light. It's too obvious to be ironic.

Simplicity is best. Getting too complex neutralizes every good thing with the awareness of some counteracting evil. It's not cleverness, it's folly. But I, as these pages continually affirm, am a fool. Here's the only wisdom I have: Evil will happen -- it's how we face it that matters.

So there is no escape, it seems. There is only courage or despair.

And now I know its name. I know it by how it crouches at the doorstep.



bob k. mando said...

"But it boils down to the fact that God does not protect the innocent."

i understand the sentiment, but it's still a humanist conceit.

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God".

Jack H said...

Every promise is a general one. Towers fall. We recognized God's sovereignty. This is a comfort? Gravity protects us too. From chaos, not from harm. Life would not be possible without it. But it is impartial. God protects us from hell, not from the hardship that comes from life. I find nothing humanistic in this view.

God never answers *why*. He affirms *that*. There's nothing soft in his tenderness. It's not a bad thing. If we want softness, we should turn to a woman. God is a man.