Monday, February 3, 2014

How Can There Be Meaning In Tragedy?

Tragedy strikes without apology.
It leaves us wondering why.
It’s the cause for a mountain of grief,
Where we may wish that we could die.
But equal is the truth of God,
That we may miss without good vision,
Grief is never a waste of time,
If to rebuild is our decision.
God never wastes a hurt. It’s not just a cliché. Hope is the thing that transports us from despair to belief by faith. Hope, and it can happen.
Faith says and believes all types of things that run counter to the world. Faith believes in what is otherwise seen as impossible, because it believes that God sponsors indelibly what is right. Faith has hope. Faith cannot endure without hope, except that the best of faith hopes beyond visible hope. Faith finds hope in hopelessness. With faith, despair is no option. Faith keeps looking up.
Faith and hope, hence, they go together.
If there truly ‘meaning in tragedy’? We have to be very careful. Easily we fall into the trap of cliché. That is never a good end because we miss out on the truth. There can be meaning in tragedy, but only as it is personally discovered and personally meaningful. That person’s faith has held out hope and that hope wasn’t disappointed. This is not to say – I rush in saying – that the person who has not found meaning in their tragedy lacks faith. That would be too much of a generalisation venturing into legalism. No, there can be meaning in tragedy, but only a person can tell.
Hope does energise us and faith does transport us, however, into liveable present and future brimming with possibility for life beyond pain; possibility. Yes, there is the possibility that, rather than living what seems an unreal existence, even dreamlike, because of the tragedy, we might live to be inherently thankful for what we have learned – that which is beyond the reach of the pain. God can show us these things sometimes.
God is in the business of turning our experiences of life upside down; turning horror into harmony, for instance. But we only have a chance – the opportunity of grace – if we will venture by faith, believing that we can prosper, somehow, out of something otherwise maddening on the soul.
Hope is the thing that transports us from despair to belief by faith. Hope, and it can happen. And hope’s spouse is faith. They work hand in hand. Hope is the fuel; faith is the journey. Hope is our only chance for a future out of tragedy. Let’s covet hope, prizing it above everything else, for it underpins faith.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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