I was reading an article today taken from a magazine entitled Critique: A Ransom Fellowship Publication, and I want to share part of the article with you.
“Today the notion of God’s judgment tends to prompt discomfort rather than assurance, a reason to disbelieve or to modify the meaning of St. John’s vision (the Book of Revelation) to something a bit more to our liking. It is hard not to be cynical about any notion of final justice in a pluralistic world. What would it look like? More to the point, is there anyone capable of such a wonder? Besides, even if at some point the brutal criminals of all time are found guilty and punished the suffering of the innocent still would cry out from the blood stained pages of history. Though this would be better than the insufficient justice of our world, it would be of limited value to the victims who were torn, body and soul. For many, what they knew of life was defined by suffering.
St. John’s vision, however, provides an understanding of reality that breaks through such cynicism. Of all the world’s religions, at this point Christianity is unique in providing a hope that is qualitatively different. C.S. Lewis spoke of this great mystery, as what can only be described as “heaven working backwards.” Timothy Keller sums it up this way:
The Biblical view of things is resurrection–not a future that is just a consolation for the life we never had but a restoration of the life you always wanted. That means that every horrible thing that ever happened will not only be undone and repaired but will in some way make the eventual glory and joy even greater…Just after the climax of the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings (by J.R.R. Tolkien), Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead (as he thought) but alive. He cries, ‘I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?’ The answer of Christianity to that question is–yes. Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost” (“None Other Lamb, None Other Name, In A Broken World, A Quiet Confidence” by Denis Haack)
The idea that “everything sad is going to come untrue” encourages me to no end. I would point out that this is not just a Christian idea. Other spiritual traditions believe this as well. Redemption is a universal idea–a universal truth. Yes, it sounds like a fairy tale, but I have always loved fairy tales. It gives me hope and energy to keep going in the face of adversity and hurdles that look just a little too big, or a lot too big. This was the thought I wanted to leave with you today.