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Living Faith

‘But not through me’

Created date

July 23rd, 2013
Living Faith

In recent columns, we discussed the dilemma of a loving God coexisting with a world full of suffering. How does a living faith endure and respond? Weep with those who weep. Our culture goes to great lengths to avoid grieving, but David mourned his dying child, and Jesus sobbed at Lazarus grave. Nicholas Wolterstorff, who lost a young son, reminds us to Be open to the wounds of the world. Mourn humanity s mourning. Entering into the suffering of others means listening, praying, and offering practical help. Wolterstorff pleads, Don t tell me it s not so bad. I need to hear that you are with me in my desperation. Come sit beside me on my mourning bench. Know that God grieves with us. Where is God now? asked Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel. Here He is He is hanging here on this gallows. Admiral Ray Smith begins his Navy survival manual with Psalm 23: I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Forgive. Jesus forgave his executioners. Corrie ten Boom forgave her Nazi prison guard. Rabbi Harold Kushner advises that the ability to forgive and to love are the weapons God has given us to enable us to live fully, bravely, and meaningfully in this less-than-perfect world. Look for silver linings. Many who face a crisis experience some positive change, including stronger interpersonal relationships, a more compassionate spirit, and a re-ordering of priorities. In one study of POWs, 25% reported that they learned so much that they would be willing to go through it again. Fight evil. Mercy-filled care in hospitals, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement are examples of how people of faith stepped up to resist evil and alleviate suffering. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, said Edmund Burke. Inspire good. Os Guinness summarizes: The horror and magnitude of modern evil is unimaginable and overwhelming. But we are not each responsible for the world, only for ourselves and our own small spheres of influence. Expressed positively we are always ready to help. Expressed negatively, in the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn let the [evil] come into the world but not through me. Write to me at 703 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228, or