Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Postscript to "Living in the Suck"

Lest, after my last post, I have left youu too deep in the pit, please take a moment for this brief reflection on hope. If you are coming to this post first, please take a minute and read my previous post, Psalm 142: Living in the Suck, before reading this one.


Despite the voice of frustration and bitterness that we hear in Psalm 142, there is a Christian tradition of reading the Psalms in a way that does not lessen their existential depth, but does point to a greater reality than our own subjective feelings. Thomas Merton is a recent exponent of reading all the Psalms Christologically. In _Bread in the Wilderness_, Thomas Merton writes:

" Not only do many of the Psalms literally foretell the suffering and glory of Christ, but David is a "type" of Christ. The Psalter as a whole is "typical" of the New Testament as a whole and often the particular sentiments of the Psalmist are, at least in a broad sense, "typical" of the sentiments in the Heart of the Divine Redeemer. Even the sins of David belong to Christ, in the sense that "God hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." "

What Merton is driving at is that in the same way that the Psalms express the common voice of the human condition, it is exactly this human condition, given voice by David, that Christ takes on in the incarnation. That is, we are not abandoned in our sarcastic and bitter cry to God; instead, we are accompanied by the one who himself cried "Oh God, why have you abandoned me?"

All of our problems, like those given voice in the Psalms, are not solved by God, but are instead borne by Christ. By God becoming one of us in Christ, we have a travelling companion who knows the road we walk. This is not hopeful because now we know that all will be well, though we do know this to be true in the long view. But for now, though we may be deep in the pit in this moment, and we honestly encounter that suck as just plain suck, we can at least encounter it with someone else who has been here too. And the one who is here with us is the Christ, the one who is both God and man. That it is the God-man that knows the suck as well as anyone else does, gives me some solace and hope, even if I remain in the suck.


Blogger Arthur Brokop II said...

I left two comment on Living in the Suck, and I just read this one, and boy does it ever help...thank you so much
I will be able to go to sleep a little more hopeful, with a yes and amen on my lips...
oh the Wonder of the Cross!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 9:34:00 PM  

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