Saturday, February 04, 2006

Warning: probable morbidity

Life sucks because it's so beautiful. It would be so easy to just detach oneself from the world if only one could simply stop clinging to all the good things. And why would you want to do that anyway? You'd become a nothing. That's why I don't get why people can talk about Buddhism as if it's such a great thing--how can we ignore the pain around us? Yay for them if it helps them relax and ignore their problems, but it's not exactly very helpful for anyone else, is it? When Buddha was so depressed by the state of the world and decided to run off and find enlightenment, it didn't change anything about the state of the world, it just meant he could ignore it. Which doesn't impress me at all.

One of my favourite quotes: "I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross... In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully in front of the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing around his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, wretched, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered out world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross which symbolises divine suffering. 'The cross of Christ... is God's only self-justification in such a world' as ours." (John Stott)

This has got to be the reason why I am a Christian. Sure, there's a list of things I believe and a list of things I don't believe, about God and the world and sin and heaven and so on. And I think these are important. But ultimately, it's about who Jesus is, and what he did. There are issues still, that I don't understand and I'm slightly worried about. But I've got to the point where I know Jesus, and I know what he's like, and I trust him. The things he said make sense to me. I don't think I'll ever give up on him.

Ha, this must sound so odd to non-Christians.

1 comment:

Patty said...

Very well said. And if you didn't know already-I'm a Christian, so it does not sound at all weird to me. Keep writing(and of course, taking those nice photos)!