Friday, May 04, 2012

Dan Savage and Perpetual Sorrow

Dan Savage:
“The inability to reconcile death has not been good for me – I visit St. James like an addict drops by a crack-house for a fix. To deaden myself to the pain – to lose myself in the momentary fantasy that she lives.”
Writing for the White Horse Inn blog, Brooke Mintun reflects.
While I don’t condone Savage’s coarse articulation of his opinions on certain cultural and cultic practices in Scripture, and lament the poor understanding of redemptive history that informs those opinions, the broadcast was a helpful reminder that there is reason behind his rhetoric, and pain beneath his anger. “Being brought up in a faith built around a guy jumping out of his tomb? That makes it difficult to reconcile oneself to the permanence of death,” he said.

It was this hideous inversion of the gospel that left me all but undone. To hear the locus of the gospel – the message of Christ’s victory over sin and death; that blessed historical fact that brings comfort to the afflicted and hope to the bereaved – so tragically perverted was devastating. What ought to have been his chief solace and consolation was spoken of as an almost-insuperable impediment; the hopeful acceptance of being parted from her for a time was lost in tearful frustration at his inability to accept her irremediable non-existence. Truly did Paul write of Christ crucified as a stumbling-block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:23).

There may be tender wounds that are long in healing underneath the aggressive bravado and vulgar language of hostile antagonists, and the root of bitterness is often found in natural grief. Beneath the sin and rebellion is a human being created in the image of God, and our Lord’s name is greatly magnified when we who have been forgiven much show patience and humility, being mindful that while we were yet sinners, Christ showed his love for us.
Read the rest.  

This piece is a good reminder that beyond all of us is a story. As Christians, we should be looking to listen for people's story. It will tell us much about who they are and why they are the way they are.  As we listen, we communicate compassion and love.  This is a great starting point for an openness to the Gospel.

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