Yesterday we spoke of a meaning that only exists in some grand structure, some Cosmic Plan. It was the only way we could make sense of the senseless death of a friend. We were just too close; the meaning couldn’t be found that far in, only the tragedy. I didn’t know the meaning to be true. Did I believe it? . . . I wanted to believe it.

Then today I saw structure. Death was farther away, yet life and death were palpable. I saw unity, I knew unity. And right there in front of me individual chaos, confusion, tragedy, and struggle formed something profoundly . . . good. We are all humans, and not in the generic sense. One man is offended at the irreverence of the service- he is Roman Catholic and still has a deep respect for his Divine Creator. Another man sings, but quietly, out of both obligation and sincerity- he was a gangster who stopped his dad’s head from being blown off by walking out of his bedroom . . . with a teddy bear. Somewhat of a teddy bear himself, it’s hard to imagine this boy immersed in a world of violence. One man passionately participates, crying out with a soulful longing- he is an orphan without a home, a son without a father. Don’t take away his longing for an Eternal Father and an eternal home, for it has come from surviving a death that you and I will never know. Another man is bitter and does not sing. He looks out of the corners of his eyes suspiciously- he longs for love and acceptance, mourning the absence of both, when in truth he can do neither for himself. One man cannot be still. He does not sing, but rather holds his glance frontward until it must move elsewhere, to the window. He gazes out the window with eyes that see beauty, looking on from somewhere beneath his own frantic motion. He can’t stop moving, yet even in walking with him one cannot help but recognize that this (particular) human being can make contact . . . and even enjoy it.

Figure into ground, figure from ground, figure into ground. Tragedy. And can you see it? As you look on at this eternally present moment and movement can you see the structures? I looked on and couldn’t explain it- only that it was there and it was good. There is no guarantee that goodness will win out in any of these lives. Futility may truly reign. Yet there is a unitive beauty- I smile and feel a Divine Radiance. All I can say with any clarity is that there is something here . . . then a million potential words- all futile. Goodness, grace, joy, and meaning cannot be linear, for linear does not end well. There are too many tragedies; too many Jobs. God never gave Job a linear reason- he only said “I am the Creator of the universe”- as if that were a sufficient answer! Tragedy and absurdity are all we can make of this if we leave it here. But it was enough for Job . . . because what God was giving him was not a reason for it all, but rather a cosmic, unitive encounter that allowed Job to see a structure that made this world and all the chaos and tragedy within it ineffably and eternally . . . good.

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