Violet has a post up called “coincidence, tragedy, and other acts of God.” It is one of my favorite subjects because I am all about the synchronicity, the harmony, the sweet music that plays connecting random events together.
Science and math are especially good at showing us the true story of synchronicity, about the interconnectedness of the world around us. Often we will speak of eco- systems, the way each part plays a role and to remove even one piece changes the entire design. I remember a ridge of trees in Hawaii that were cut down on the rainy side of an island and it changed the clouds, altered the rain patterns, created a drought in that area which killed the native plants, which lead to a mudslide, just an astounding series of events that transformed a little piece of paradise into a pile of muck, all because a tree line was removed without a good understanding of the significance, the purpose it served.
Math is also really good at drawing us pictures of probabilities, games of chance and randomness, of unseen order within the chaos, all the way into physics and even quantum mechanics, in which case your brain will start to hurt long before you discover all the secrets lurking therein.
Einstein is believed to have said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Those are great words of wisdom and truly what one perceives as ordinary is often really quite extraordinary. The jaded and misanthropic love to say, yeah well my heart is beating, so what? I am entitled to breathe, there is nothing miraculous about any of this! Then we like to turn those jaded eyes onto events and circumstances as we fancy ourselves so smart, so above it all, because we think we can see the mere coincidence, the insignificance, the trick behind the Magician.
Violet’s jaded eyes go on to say, “Petty little things that make Christians happy only actually happen because the invisible creator of the world loves them and has time to put the fridge they want on half price sale, or provide a parking place for them, or make them bump into someone who says something nice to them…”
Oh, the sheer horror of all the petty little things that make Christians happy….sorry, my sarcasm got the best of me.
That truly is what walking with the Lord is like. What can I say, He knows how to make everything fun, how to show you the blessings hiding in the routine, the mundane. Heck, if you learn to really lean into Him, He’ll have you singing in prison, rejoicing in times of trouble, singing His praises even in the midst of great suffering. We are so loved, so treasured and valued, that yes, God has time for each and every one of us.
I empathize, it really is an odd concept and I have those same jaded eyes, those eyes that are afraid to trust, those eyes that fear being fooled and deceived, those eyes that dread disappointment. Pffft, I’ll raise you a miracle, show you some stage lighting and expose the wizard behind the curtain. Violet does not know me, but I am a skeptic extraordinaire and not easily deceived.
God however, has never found my skepticism to be very impressive. Many times I have thought, ah sheesh this is just foolish. And He has whispered to me, be foolish. I have thought, well, obviously I am now delusional and God has whispered, be delusional. Come on, this is totally irrational and God has said, be irrational.
God and I have had some great discussions about “the petty little things that make Christians happy” and He has flat out told me, open your eyes and truly see what is right in front of you! If you cannot trust that a favored uncle pulling quarters from his ears is really pulling quarters from his ears, than trust in the miracle behind it, in the love that went into practicing it, in the attention being shown because someone seeks only to delight and enchant you. How we live our lives and what we chose to see is really a choice we all must make, each and every time. The fact that we have this choice really is yet another miracle.
Violet concludes by saying, “And don’t forget to thank him incessantly for this wonderful intervention in your petty little life, and wonder with awe what odd benevolent deity would revel in the petty little coincidences in your petty little life, while millions of other people are living tragically short, painful and brutal lives. What a comforting Christian life!”
What Violet fails to understand here is that we do no one else any favors by refusing to rejoice because others suffer in the world. We do not lift anyone else up by joining them on the bottom. Do you help the sick by becoming sick yourself? Do the jaded eyes of misanthropy serve to encourage those who live tragic, painful lives? Do we help those who suffer by trying to rob them of hope?
An even more profound question to ask yourself, how come those living in great comfort and ease in the Western world tend to have such high suicide rates and a dependance on anti depressants? Is it possible that what we perceive to be millions of suffering people, perhaps do not suffer as much as those of us deceived enough to believe we have all the answers?
These are philosophical questions, rhetorical questions, grown up questions, they are not really questions that have a cut and dry answer, but they often lead us down a better path than the simple road that makes one stamp their foot and dismissively declare, “well, Christians are just downright foolish.”