Thursday, January 1, 2009


My eager desire and hope being that
I may never feel ashamed.
But that now, as ever, I may do honour to Christ
In my own person with fearless courage. Philippians 1:20 (Moffat)

As I am trying to feel my way through the fog of this time, I picked up Oswald Chambers and began another year of My Utmost for His Highest. The Scripture above is the first Word from the book. I think I understand more now what it means.
This process is an education in the nature of the world. It is breathtaking in its cold, cruel and senseless beauty. All the picket fences and locks, security systems and 401(k)'s and health insurance cannot protect us from its dead, remorseless progress. It has no care for negotiation, no rules it must follow. Being good is no protection. All the routines of our lives do not send it scurrying away.
It is this essential senselessness of the world that I think Heath Ledger captured in "The Dark Knight," which we watched on Sunday (thank you, David and Michael). He and Two-Face are the two faces of our natural reaction to it: a selfish delight in joining in the destruction, or a rage-filled demand for fairness, for some sort of sense. Both reactions simply fuel the cruelty.
There is another reaction that is possible. It is to stand and fight-- not to win, but simply to fight-- to fight the cruelty, the coldness, the senselessness with the one abiding power that has no human explanation, and is just as visceral as the hate, fear and rage: love. But that now, as ever, I may do honour to Christ In my own person with fearless courage.
Courage to stand with Nell, and not lie, but speak the truth that Love will not lose-- it WILL be ok, even if it seems that all is lost. Courage to pick up a light instead of cursing the darkness. Courage to love in the face of the hatred and cruelty of those who know the world, and in resignation or selfishness feed its powers, indifferent to the suffering around them. Courage to live in a world terrified of dying.
If we walk down the path and Nell's eloquence is swallowed in silence too early, or the work we do in Oak Cliff bears little fruit, or all that I cherish is taken from me-- I still choose to love. And when this world has ground me into the dust, then with Christ

1 comment:

  1. In all of our naked "human-ness", it seems that we so often still question if the end justifies the means. Clay, you have hit upon the real answer to a much more important reality...the End (Omega)justifies the End, and the means are merely the incomprehensable means. We need not understand, but we indeed need to love. May I recommend a book I've just finished that speaks very well to this (and, quite timely)..."The Shack" by William P. Young.
    Love you brother!
    Jeff Skinner