Thursday, December 27, 2012

What Then Should We Do? Laying the Truth over Our Emotions

What then should we do?


Our feelings are normal and they are faithful. The emotions of horror, sadness, fear, and anger are signs within us that something is wrong. Feelings of sadness, fear, and anger stemming from the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are normal and faithful for what happened to the children at the school was wrong.


Christians can allow room for the very real feelings of being a human. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together, writes about the use of emotions in human community. He acknowledges the presence of emotions in human community, but cautions us about the workings of the heart. He writes that the essence of emotion is desire. These desires include "dark and impenetrable urges." Bonhoefer goes on to write about a spiritual community--at the core of which is truth. "The essence of spiritural community is light."


Over our emotions, we lay something larger than ourselves--the truth.


I believe that this world was created good and created for good. I believe that there is an order to this world that allows all that live within the world to thrive and flourish. I believe that all that lives in this world relates to all other living creatures. I believe that each part of this world has integrity in those relationships. And, most key, I believe that it is God who put this world into place and made the world for good.


I also believe that there is a force in this world that has at is core to work against the goodness of the world. This force strives in unpredicatable, uncontrollable, and horrifying ways to undo the order of the world. When this force has its way in the world, all that lives within the world cannot thrive but is destroyed. This force violates the integrity of other living creatures bringing about havoc, destruction, and despair.


This force can work through the natural processes, such as cancer cells. It can work through the natural processes, such as natural disasters. And, it can claim the heart of people whose lives are formless, void, and filled with darkness. This force can claim the heart of Adam, and bring about the death of so many people.


Foremost, I also believe this. Evil will not have the final word in life. The acts of violation, one person upon another, is not all there is. There is more. God will restore humanity and creation. This act of restoration is the work begun in Jesus Christ, and will be complete on the day of his coming. Death has no more dominion over us. This I truly believe.

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