I have three kids. The second and third live in this amazing environment where I come and visit them. I only gave them one rule.
Their uncle came by and convinced them to break that one rule.
Now, I have to let horrible things happen to them. I don’t cause the horrible things. But if they hadn’t broken that one rule, I might have protected them for those things. Because they did break that rule, I have to let crappy stuff happen to them.
Fortunately, my oldest son has never broken the rules. That’s why he can bring the whole thing back into balance. I’m going to have to let him die horribly. I’m a loving father. I wouldn’t let him do this unless he really, really wanted to.
Sure, he cried pretty intensely the day before it happened. In fact, he was weeping blood. But I could tell. He still really wanted to do it.
After suffering what can only be called torture he experienced a separation from me for the first time ever.
But it was o.k. Because I brought him back after he died. And then the rule that my other two kids violated, it didn’t count anymore. They are on their way back to the amazing place they were headed for.
Let’s just be honest, o.k? That story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There is absolutely no way to explain that story in a way that does.
We can play word games. We can hedge and haw, we can mix up cherry picked scripture with powerful little illustrations from C.S. Lewis. We could summarize little homilies from needle-stitched pictures. We can quote that old fashioned preacher in the bad suit that our grand parents used to watch on television. We can try and capture the nuances of the explanations offered from that hip young pastor with the soul patch.
But in the end, we can feel a lot like Lucille Ball. We look at that story, and we got lots of ‘splainin to do.
Please don’t misunderstand me.
I believe the whole story with all my heart.
But I don’t believe it because of the explanations.
And I don’t quite know how to say this nicely. So I’m just going to say it.
In my opinion, the people who think that the explanations work, they are out of touch with just how bizarre the whole thing is.
It’s part of our brokenness: Something repeated long enough loses it’s weirdness.
This is the cornerstone of brainwashing. Exposed to claims over, and over, and over again, the subjects’ resistance to these claims gets warn out. I am not suggesting that we are brainwashed into Christianity. But we are subject to the same forces which operating on the victims of cults, or among the citizens in countries run by despots.
I am not saying that others’ words haven’t helped. It’s just that, for the most part, they haven’t explained. They’ve illuminated: Cast light on one aspect of a thing rather than fully explaining thing, reduced it to something fully understood.
And so this is where I find myself completing this exploration of mystery: Considering the very nature of the story we find ourselves in.