by Jonas Weaver
I thought, today, about how the world revolves around beauty and truth.
At least, I want it to revolve around those two spheres. It would be nice if the world revolved around those two and sin and evil and ugliness were not so prevalent. Sadly, or not so sadly in my mind, the picture of truth, beauty, evil, ugliness, is one much more haunted by intimacy than we would like it to be. Like a spiral of color where one ends the other begins and often times one can only guess at the end or beginning.
If we’re honest this picture of reality – a potpourri of conflict – is based in the primordial reality of the bible. In the opening chapters of the creation account we find God molding out of dirt and rib humanity. Dirt and rib which is intimately linked to God by being made in his image. And then a chapter later we find man breaking down, the dirt and rib cracking, and the image of God becoming marred.
But it is still there, haunting our every move, mixing in the sin and beauty into one rough cut whole.
And as the story of the bible continues on towards its culmination in the Incarnation of the Word there are numerous stories of this complex interaction between the ugliness of sin and the beauty of God’s children. David, the man after God’s own heart, commits murder and adultery and causes people of his nation to be killed at God’s behest. Rahab, the prostitute, redeemed by faith and action (and oddly seemed to have faith while still a prostitute). Solomon, given wisdom, commits idolatry via marriage.
The point is, the stories we tell often do not fit the stories of the bible. The language we use does not fit the language we find in scripture.
Point is, horrible sinners can be decent people. Saints, good people we admire, screw up horribly, commit atrocities and horrors unspeakable. We are grace filled creatures with sin leaking in the cracks, made by dirt but breaking, created via life yet death creeps ever closer at every step. We are not only walking contradictions, we are walking dead.
We are not sinner or saint. We are decent killers and indecent saints.