Introducing a friend-of-a-friend who’s moving to Belfast to my dear friend Catherine there, and having them already make plans for getting together. I love how small the world really is.
Writing a sermon on the suffering of God and the suffering of those Nigerian girls (and how the two connect). It is overwhelming and perplexing, but cathartic, to try to find God in the midst of such sorrow. Anne Lamotte was, as always, a great help:
When something ghastly happens, it is not helpful to many people if you say that it’s all part of God’s perfect plan, or that it’s for the highest good of every person in the drama, or that more will be revealed, even if that is all true. Because at least for me, if someone’s cute position minimizes the crucifixion, it’s bunk*. Which I say with love.
Christ really did suffer, as the innocent of the earth really do suffer. It’s the ongoing tragedy of humans. Our lives and humanity are untidy: disorganized and careworn.
My understanding of incarnation is that we are not served by getting away from the grubbiness of suffering.
Any healthy half-awake person is occasionally going to be pierced with a sense of the unfairness and the catastrophe of life for ninety-five percent of the people on this earth.
Pretending that things are nicely boxed up and put away robs us of great riches.
*never one to mince her words, Anne used a different word here, but one that would perhaps keep some people from hearing all of the helpful things she’s said. If that “great riches” phrasing perplexes you, it confounded me, too. But then I tried to parse it and interesting things happened.