What's It All About?

It's all too easy for days to pass without reflection. It's my hope that through a greater active awareness on each day, that I will be able to consider God's presence in my life and in the world around me. Writing has always been a way for me to round up my thoughts. This blog seems like a good place to park those thoughts for my own benefit as well as the benefit of others. Please take a moment to read what I have written, to offer comments, and to share the ideas with others.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Good and Bad, Together at Last

Backyard at sunrise-photo by Libby Fife
Autumn is really my favorite time of year. The cool mornings make up for days that can still be hot. Rain can appear from nowhere and the next day will be sparkling and crisp. It's a time of transition to shorter days where the darkness begins to encroach on the light. Certain trees begin to change color and lose their leaves while their neighbor trees remain beautifully green and lush. There really is quite a lot to appreciate among the aspects of the season that seem so different from one another.

My husband and I were recently talking about the visit to the United States by Pope Francis. It was uncharacteristic of my husband to ask me this question but he wanted to know what I would say to the Pope if I was to meet him. It was easy to come up with something that I would like to know: why do both good and bad things happen? If all things come from God then how does tragedy befall the innocent while the wicked seem to escape unharmed? What kind of God sets that sort of stuff in motion? Or does he even do that? Why does he allow it to happen? Or is that even the case?

While I am not the first to ask this question, and I certainly won't be the last, I do have the beginnings of an answer. Or at least a word to describe the coexistence of two seemingly opposite conditions or events. The word is "paradox" and I recently ran across two examples of how the word can be used to describe God's given condition of both good and bad existing at the same time. Others write much better than I do and so I am providing two links to two separate articles. 

I enjoy the writing of both of these authors and so if you have time and have questions like I do, these essays are worth the read. The articles don't answer the question of why or even provide relief from the idea that bad things happen to good people, but they do provide a framework for understanding and accepting that both the good and the bad happen together. You can't have one without the other. And all good things got to come to an end (to quote Jackson Browne!) and that it can be OK.


1 comment:

  1. Dear Libby anyone who takes time to study on suffering or has undergone it in some form or another struggles with this question. The book of Job in the Old Testament clearly makes that paradox apparent. In the second chapter verse 10 Job after experiencing terrible loss answers his wife from verse 9 when she wants Job to curse God and then die. He says. .."shall we accept good from God and not trouble." I know personally that I used to say why me but in growing I am learning to say why not me? I loved Parker Palmer' s insightful writing. His thoughts cover in a way what I believe- everything that happens for a reason . What we consider bad at the time reaps a true harvest of good. Thank you friend for sharing your thoughts and these two wonderful links. Hope you enjoy this lovely season. Hugs!


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