Just got off the phone with someone very close to me whose brother is in prison. Apparently he is schizophrenic and today their mother received a very nasty latter from him, as has happened before many times despite the support she gives him. My mental precesses working the way they do, I immediately reached out for a solution, for a way to fix the situation.
But then I thought again (something that happens with increasing regularity as I age), because there is nothing that will fix it. Either this woman can distance herself from the son she loves – a sacrifice – in order to preserve her own emotional energies, or she can continue to pour those emotional energies into him in exchange for abuse – another sacrifice. Either way, sacrifices would have to be made. Either way, things would be less than, well, perfect. Actually, they would and do suck.
And this is why I cannot get into a theology of glory, and why I glory in the theology of the cross. Because either in loving and helping one’s neighbor, or in taking a Sabbath rest to help oneself, there are sacrifices, and perfection of circumstances in this life remains only an expectation of the most zealous idealist.
This is the reality of sin, which poisons everything we do and everything we are like so much atomic fallout since that initial bomb went off in mankind’s long war against God. Praise God for His Son who comes to save us, not in a HAZMAT suit, but in swaddling clothes, the form of a servant, the likeness of men. Praise God for Christ Jesus, who comes not in a containment vehicle to shield him from our sickness, but in bread and wine to cure it.