It's interesting how change and catastrophe can so quickly convert to the excitement of what C.S. Lewis called a Eucatastrophe--a sudden, irreversible, monumental salvation. There's even cliche's to refer to it:
"darkest before the dawn..."
"every cloud has a silver lining..."
"I love it when a plan comes together..."
Now, I am a firm believer that no one should use clouds for silver-mining as a practice, but clouds will come whether you look for them or not. I've even known people to assume that God sent the clouds because you needed the silver--which I think is not out of the realm of possibility, but frankly not necessary because, again, clouds come anyway--no sense in adding to the normal process it will happen on its own.
At this moment, our world is gripped in the throes of what many are calling an economic catastrophe. I'm not sure it's much more than a strophe, but there are a lot of people hurting. The difference between a catastrophe and a Eucatastrophe is found in Ps. 107. In each stanza of this hymn someone is in trouble, they cried out to the Lord, and He heard their cry and rescued them.
Trouble comes, of that we can be sure. Rescue comes, of that we can be even surer. The difference is the asking--and in knowing who to ask.
Just in case you're thinking this is some namby-pamby, never faced anything kind of plattitude, you may be right--all pain is unique and our pain could be a walk in the park for many. As time goes on, I'll let you see the pattern of Eucatastrophe that we have experienced. I'll probably blog about Down syndrome, transportation, public policy, prayer, Psalms, Proverbs, the heritage of the land, mental illness and anything else that hits the wide net of my fancy. I'll try not to hurt anyone as I go along, but there are no guarantees, and not all hurts are bad.
I met a dear friend again after many years on Monday. When we had been spending time together 4 years ago, she was going through a painless divorce at her choosing and she told me that I was the only one in her life that told her she was making a serious mistake. She is now a separated from her second husband who hurt her as badly as she hurt her first husband and is raising her beautiful daughter alone. She knew things weren't always great in my marriage and couldn't understand why I would stick it out. In the end, John and I have worked through some of our difficulty and have much to go, but are content together after 18 years. She would give anything to redo that mistake. My heart was broken for her because I really hoped I was going to end up wrong--that somehow the laws of the universe regarding sowing and reaping would just not apply. It didn't work that way--it almost never does. She is delighted that she now knows and can move forward to try to save her second marriage, if that is possible. She's also far more bold to stand up for what is right before her own friends, even if it isn't convenient. Hard lesson. I suppose those are the ones best learned.
If you think I'm claiming God friendship as a unique calling, that would be a joke--I can take no credit for what He has done and all who call on the name of the Lord have the same opportunity for that relationship. I can take no credit for being chosen by God as a friend--I am frequently disloyal and in no way worthy of that friendship. Still, I would like to think that our relationship has been the defining characteristic of who I am and have become as a person.
41...He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction,
And makes his families like a flock.
42The upright see it and are glad;
But all unrighteousness shuts its mouth.
43Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things,
And consider the lovingkindnesses of the LORD.