Friday, 13 July 2012

History: the record of a broken world

  Meanwhile I continue to reflect on what it means to be plunged into history. God made everything good. But in that good creation, soon or late each of us, one after another, gets discovered by Garrison Johns and finds that not everyone thinks that our place in this creation life is so wonderful. We are plunged into pain and disappointment and suffering. Sometimes it recedes for a while; other times it threatens to overwhelm us.
  The final verdict on all of this is death. We die. Strangely, virtually every death, even of the very old, feels like an intrusion and more or less surprises us. Tears and lament give witness to our basic sense that this is wrong and that we don't like it one bit. Death provides the fundamental datum that something isn't working the way it was intended, accompanied by the feeling that we have every right to expect something other and better.

-- p.137 from Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson

* Peterson introduces Garrison Johns earlier in the book as a school bully who made Peterson's life miserable for months until one day Peterson fought back and ended up beating him up. The story seems to tell that it was through Garrison Johns that Peterson first learned the world was not as it's meant to be, and that this broken world was not simply external to Peterson but also in him too.

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