Thursday, March 8, 2012

Starting with Wreckage.

Wrecked car, near Goulburn, NSW (Photographed by Toby :)
My heart has been struggling with some heavy questions, of late.  I feel laden with news of tragedies, the despair of friends begging mercy from a seemingly empty heaven, and the interminable, and unanswerable question, "why?"

In the ebb and flow of life, there are weeks that seem more laden with tragedy than others.  The reality, of course, is that life is both beautiful and terrible, and at every given moment, unspeakable atrocities, unremitting tragedy and unrelenting pain are present, somewhere.  Often much closer to my own "safe" world than I care to realise.

This morning, I read a post by Winn Collier, whose beautiful thoughts and writing are so often a source of inspiration to me.  His most recent post begins with the following quote from author, Jack London:

"The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage."

The quote, along with Winn's own wonderful words, reminds me that my own story is one that has repeatedly "begun with wreckage".  I have lived through grinding hopelessness, and found hope again, beyond all reason and expectation.  I have found myself, trapped in ugliness, the recipient of grace.  I am living through "insoluble difficulties", and finding myself participating in the solution.  It has been SO. FAR. from instant.  It is not finished.  But it is beautiful. 

In the course of my own stumbling walk, I have seen echoes of the same kind of story (or perhaps, my story is the echo) in the narratives of the Bible.  Its pages are full of horror, atrocity, adultery, slavery, and gut-wrenching tragedy.  Yet woven through these events is hope and redemption.  I don't see any "magic formula" or instant, easy answer in its pages.  What I do see, is the same God who formed the world from chaos, and mankind from dust (deem it allegorical, if you wish) continuing to be present, and to somehow breathe life and beauty into the most hopeless and life-destroying situations so that again and again, something beautiful is resurrected, and love, not death, is the victor.


  1. Wow. Beautifully put, Kerry. The word "wreckage" really brings up some bad memories for me, and I've seen God work through them, but I've definitely come to the conclusion that a loving God could never engage in "gratuitous evil." Meaning that he wouldn't cause pain only to bring about good. However, I DO think God is loving enough to take the crap that happens daily in a fallen world like ours and make good from it. I just don't think he causes the bad with the intention of good.

  2. Oh Adrian - me either! I've had some thoughts brewing, about the place of evil in our world... but God causing it so He can bring good is NOT one of them. When my son died (14 years ago, now) the one thing that REALLY made me angry was the suggestion, by some Christians, that God had chosen it for some higher purpose. The idea still makes me clench my teeth! - He is the source of hope - not of despair.

  3. One of the things that impacts me the most about Jesus is that he chose to come and live with us as a human. That way he not only saw what it was like for us he experienced and felt it from a human perspective. That speaks to me a a burning desire to connect with us on a very personal level.


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