We were promised a blizzard today, so all the schools closed. Instead we have lashing wind and rain. It’s a lovely morning for sitting alone in the studio and watching the branches of the trees bow and leap as water drums against the roof.
It’s easy in such moments to know that God loves the world – and that we who dwell here are meant to be lovers as well. It is natural to praise and thank God.
There are other moments when it is harder. When fire or flood destroy our homes or friends lie dying, when fish turn belly up in polluted rivers or the sky is brown with car exhaust, when we see the desperation in the eyes of homeless men and women or the bleak hopelessness in the eyes of refugees, then it is not so easy.
The Son that God gave to the world helps us then. The incarnation of God, God’s self, he helps us to see beyond the limits of human understanding even when we cannot bear to think of hope and love. He points us to the next thing we are called to do – and then the next after that – all the while showing us that he sees our inmost thoughts and fears, and loves us – not in spite of them but including them.
Come into the light. You may as well, since you are known entirely already.
The blizzard could still happen. The temperature could drop and all this lovely water on our roads and windshields could turn to treacherous ice. How do we know for what we ought to prepare? Our best predictions so often go astray.
God’s love of the world is fulsome – articulated in a billion tiny gestures of longing for relationship and welcome. As I watch the dance of water and tree limbs outside my window, I am open to these expressions – appreciative – thankful. Will I continue to be so open in the next moment when the world whites out in blowing snow? How about in the one after that?
Christ teaches us through his life, torture, death and resurrection that in all our moments, the ones we call “good” and the ones we call “bad”, God is present. Beyond what we know, beyond our ability to sort it out, God is present. In the middle of our terror, our suffering, our outrage, our utter confusion and despair, God is present. For so God loves the world.