Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Vastness of Everything

"God found great pleasure to take a lowly thing in the eyes of the world and show truth."

There are so many things in this world that do not make sense. At least from our perspective. But most of the time our perspective is all we've got. It takes some effort to see things from a distance, from a greater height, from a more informed vantage point.

I'm walking through Francis Chan's book Crazy Love with a group of friends. This takes some effort. Chan leads an intellectual and emotional journey of discovery - the vastness of our universe, the incredible detail of creation, the remarkable intricacies of life itself. He connects those immutable facts with the spiritual experience of believers and scripture. In light of the scientific facts, the exploration of a vast universe, the brief glance at a galaxy from a hundred million light years away, a simple human life seems unbelievably insignificant.

(Don't have the book? Check out www.crazylovebook.com. Just that much will blow your mind.)

And here, in a nutshell, is the irony and mystery of the faith of one who follows Jesus. Somehow, we don't matter at all - and yet, we matter.

The God of the universe exists in a time and space that is beyond my understanding. The universe is vast beyond the stars, to quote one of my favorite songwriters.

We don't matter.

But following Jesus compels me to believe that regardless of my appreciation or understanding, there is life and purpose within me.

We matter.

Biblical teaching and preaching does well to reinforce this, to offer proof and evidence. But tonight, my daughter Shannon and I listened to the story of a family that, while heartbreaking, is about the best I could offer to say that faith matters.

Life is unfair. Earthquakes destroy cities and kill thousands. Parents watch adult children die far too young. Pain comes at the hand of a trusted spouse. Cancer robs and steals life. Lungs refuse to function. Blood vessels explode and demolish plans for the future. Children are born with devastating diseases.

Somehow, in the midst of the most unfair, the most devastating, the most heart-breaking situations, there can be hope. Even the most tenuous foothold of faith can dig into the mystery of the divine God of the universe who somehow, in the midst of the vastness of everything, has a connection with us.

It is impossible to understand. It is often difficult to believe.

But it is faith that sustains and makes sense of the most ridiculous, unfair and difficult circumstances life offers.

Perspective is everything. This short film altered mine. Grab a Kleenex, and let it alter yours.


mary (elizabeth) said...


I blogged about this video almost a year ago. Incredibly moving. I don't know if anyone can watch without crying. Glorifying God in the midst of heartbreak is a phenomenal occurance.

Love you, friend. Miss you, too.

mary (elizabeth) said...

PS They have a blog that I check on from time to time. They still write about Eliot and they now have a new lil one...her name is Hazel. :)

God is remains constant even when our circumstances change...but how beautiful to know that hope and faith always bring anew. :)

Pilgrim Soul said...

Okay... definitely cried a bit...

I've been enjoying what NT Wright has said, that Jesus wasn't just "fully man" to satisfy some kind of theological abstraction, he was fully man because that's how much God values us: We were created to reign with him, and God will not -- does not -- abandon his creation to ruin.

Enchanted Oak said...

Hi, Beth, hope in spite of appearances is on both our minds and blogs this day. I guess we're both working to understand what is the significance of one individual in the world, in the universe. But God's message is clear, isn't it? We matter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting me know about Eliot. This was hard to watch but glad I know about the website. I will tell my sister. I have a trisome 18 nephew, my sister's baby boy. We call him Angel. His brothers never met him but still speak of him. He is with Jesus. myrna

Connie K. said...

That was wonderful. And you were right about the kleenex. ME, what is their blog site?

miss sudha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angie said...

I saw this a year or two ago. We watched it at work. NICU nurses can relate to what it's like to take care of a baby like Eliot. I just love the way those parents have joy in watching him grow each day of his life.. knowing that he is going to die.. that he's only theirs for a short time.