Thursday, November 15, 2007

That Confounding God

If God did not choose to work in ways that confound us, grace would not be amazing. It would not be grace.
-Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

God continually confounds me. Greed, war, violence - all manner of evil runs rampant in our world, yet God does nothing. Or, at least God seems to do nothing. God seems to leave it all up to us.

Every month I attend a meeting of community groups in the county where I live. I talk with people doing all manner of good works - housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, finding shelter and providing protection for the abused, visiting the imprisoned, providing transportation for those in poverty. Why do these sorts of organizations even have to exist? Why must we take it on ourselves to right the wrongs of the world, break the cycles of poverty and violence and heal the wounds of others?

Where is God? Why can't God simply make a world where good things can be created faster and bigger than bad things? Why must we live in a world where those who create good things have to stand by and watch others piss all over it? I don't get it.

If we claim that God is "almighty" why can't God get off his lazy ass long enough to do something almighty in the world?

God continually confounds me.

But, I guess Norris is right, that's what makes the grace we receive so amazing. I am blessed each time I walk out of that community meeting, hearing of all their struggles and accomplishments. I know that God is hard at work through each of the organizations present. Perhaps not in the superhero "almighty" way we might think - but it seems that grace is all the more amazing when it bubbles up under the muck and mire of the world, bringing a refreshing fountain to all who approach and receive.

Finding that oasis of grace in this world is truly an amazing experience.

1 comment:

James Flanders (the Bald Preacher Dude) said...

To believe we are totally and eternally debt free is seldom easy. Even if we’ve stood before the throne and heard it from the king himself, we still doubt. As a result, many are forgiven only a little, not because the grace of the king is limited, but because the faith of the sinner is small. God is willing to forgive all. He’s willing to wipe the slate completely clean. He guides us to a pool of mercy and invites us to bathe. Some plunge in, but others just touch the surface. They leave feeling unforgiven . . . .

Where the grace of God is missed, bitterness is born. But where the grace of God is embraced, forgiveness flourishes. . . .

The more we immerse ourselves in grace, the more likely we are to give grace.

Max Lucado, Grace For the Moment, p. 393.