Friday, November 13, 2009
Thoughts on my flu.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was absolutely correct when he referred to sickness as judgment (cf. spiritual care). In the event of our sickness we have to do with the troubling reality that no one-not even God's child- is exempt from punishment for sin (1 Pe 4:17). Not that there is always necessarily a causal relationship between a concrete sin and subsequent illness, for we may well learn to say with Job: "Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy" (9:15). In truth our weakness instructs us with the reality that no one is blameless, and our hardships are endured as discipline. Within this frame of time the nature of God as Abba is ferociously tested and called into question through God's own hiddenness and wrath. We cannot bring ourselves to imagine that God would be the sort of person who would throw His arms around us, kiss us and weep with utter love. We begin to accept judgment as the proper revelation of God and lose hold of His generous adoption of us. God is now solely Master, Judge, Avenger, Hidden, Wrathful, Infinite and Terrible. The sacred scriptures witness against us; the beautiful creation witnesses against us, the promises dissapear, personal sanctity slithers away, conscience condemns, the brethren tremble and the fire of Hell irrevocably summons us. We cannot see Jesus as anyone other than the eschatological judge who approaches us only to say," Depart from me, you who are accursed, into the eternal fire!" Sickness is temptation; sickness is truth. But it is not true enough.