The Christian faith insists that deepest hurt and highest good are bound together. It’s not only that the sweet and sorrowful frequently arrive side-by-side. It’s also that, in our fallen world, they are most often intertwined, drawing their very life from one another. Yes, in heaven good will come unalloyed. But here, character springs from trials…purpose is rarely found apart from sacrifice…empathy is born in pain…the richest friendships rise from shared hardship…and redemption is most always bound to self-giving love.
Certainly, this reality pulses at the heart of foster care and adoption, in service to orphans and family restoration work around the globe. (Hence the theme of the CAFO2019 Summit will be: In Brokenness and Beauty…It is Well.)
Never was this truth more on display than at the cross. Evil could not be vanquished in the triumph of military conquest; rather, it had to be absorbed in anguished pain: sin’s blade received like a spear into the side.
Though perhaps more subtle, what happened in the Bethlehem stable tells us the same:
Without that Gift,
All of life is a grand package,
Gilded in bows and wrappings,
Streaming with promise,
But with that first Gift,
Wrapped in a thin film
Of mucous and blood,
Every gift—even those shrouded in grief, ache, doubt—
Still whisper that all good is
Yet to come.