"'For those who love God all things work for their good."
There is no misfortune, there are no catastrophes, there are no sorrows, however extraordinary, that cannot become crowns of glory and of hope when suffered with love for God.' "
- Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, before his assassinationMy life has become full of contradictions. On the one hand I derive hope from the concept that God can take our worst ordeals & our blackest experiences and through them, create something triumphant and meaningful. I love the idea of God as the ultimate alchemist, taking darkness and creating light out of it, transforming chaos and pain into things of beauty. And I do believe that he'll do that somehow in my life.
The problem I have is this: my belief in God making all things new is NOT much comfort right now. I think it's a fantastic truth about God, but I wish I didn't have to know it so intimately. You know what I mean? It's one thing to know that God can transform our awful experiences into something positive, but it's another to actually experience it.
Well-meaning people often say things like "It'll all work out" or "It'll get better"or "God makes everything beautiful in its time." After losing Vincent, the fact that God can somehow work good through all this crappiness doesn't really make me feel any better. I don't want to hear anyone tell me that God will make it all work out, or that it will get better soon. I'm just mad and sad right now. It doesn't make me feel better to know that perhaps things will get better. That doesn't help how I feel now.
I'm reminded by something Rabbi Kushner said many years after he lost his first-born child Aaron. He said that even though he's a better rabbi, counselor, listener, friend and spouse because of Aaron's life and death, he'd still rather have Aaron back and be a worse rabbi, counselor, listener, friend and spouse. He'd rather have his kid back.
So would I.
But until then I'll keep on liking God's alchemistic powers (and disliking the fact that I need them) as he takes junk and makes it into gold.