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Friday, February 26, 2016

The second-to-last truth

Tomorrow, February 27th, marks the one-year anniversary of a dark day for teams on our field.  We lost two first-degree relatives on that day, a sister and a mother of two of our missionaries.  The sister, in her 20s, engaged to be married, vibrant, was driving home from a final visit with her soon-to-depart missionary family.  We'll never know what sent her car flying into the forest.  The mother ended her long struggle with ALS, leaving kids in their 30's and a pastor husband.  We'll never understand why that disease singled out someone so needed in her medical practice, church community, family.  These two deaths coming on the same day reminds us all too sharply that we are broken people, and even as we are sent to the fraying edges of the world we acknowledge that all is not well where we started either.  That we who go to comfort those who mourn also mourn ourselves, we are not immune.  That this resurrection we preach is not a theoretical construct but a matter of life and death, literally, of giving we who are left behind the hope that enables us to keep on breathing when we are nearly in despair.

As a tribute to these two women, who have joined the great multitude of witnesses, saints,  (like my dad) waiting for us and watching, and to their families and to my two sorrowing friends, here is a Buechner quote of the week:

By faith we understand, if we are to understand it at all, that the madness and lostness we see all around us and within us are not the last truth about the world but only the next to the last truth.  Madness and lostness are the results of terrible blindness and tragic willfulness, which whole nations are involved in no less than you and I are involved in them. Faith is they eye of the heart, and by faith we see deep down beneath the face of things—by faith we struggle against all odds to be able to see—that the world is God’s creation even so.  It is he who made us and not we ourselves, made us out of his peace to live in peace, out of his light to dwell in light, out of his love to be above all things loved and loving.  This is the last truth about the world.

1 comment:

Lem said...

He saved the best for last!