Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Broken World

I was thinking of my cousin last night when I broke the humidifier. She grieves the death of her dad just weeks ago and now has received word that her son won’t return from Iraq by Christmas as was expected, but will go to Kuwait until July. I was thinking of her and her hurt when the humidifier slipped from my hand as easily as a slick piece of fruit. Indeed, our world is broken, broken as surely as the humidifier that looks fine on the outside but leaks like a sieve from the bottom when plugged in.
We seem to float on a sea of highs and lows—joy and pain. And for many the suffering is great, and the evil of our fallen natures wreak havoc on ourselves and others. For all the beauty and inspiration of nature and song, there’s an underside of turmoil, oppression, forsakenness. Where do we search? Where do we find relief? Where is there security?
In our desperation a good God does look down on us. I love the illustration of James Weldon Johnson’s poem “The Creation” where he portrays God in His creation of man as a “mammy bending over her baby.” Could there be a more tender analogy? Yet, often that image is so hard to see. Sometimes in our frustration we even push it aside and refuse to believe it.
Yes, this is a broken world—filled with pain and suffering. I suppose we could cast a condemning eye on Eve, but really anyone of us, I’m convinced, would have eventually made her choice—and broken a perfect world as easily, and perhaps as inadvertently, as a piece of wet plastic slipping from our hands.

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