A Taste of Existence

The loudest and most convincing voice

that rises up above the others

when different thoughts challenge the existence of God

is the one that asks, honestly:

why the evil?

A brother chokes on a chicken bone

at a holiday dinner

to enjoy family

when he took off for work to be there.

A new mother dies in a car accident

when a rock flies through the windshield

and goes through her brain

while her baby sleeps quietly in the backseat.

A father outlives his son

who had the potential to conquer the world

but instead for some reason

has a heart attack on the basketball court.

And yet we are told that God intervenes

in the world of Nature.

That he suspends its laws

or sticks his magic finger in

and turns water into wine

or gives sight to the blind

or brings back the ruler’s daughter

who was not dead, but only sleeping.

If God can do this once, he would be able to

a thousand times

or a million,

or every time, logic would imply.

Thus he must hold back flexing his omnipotence

for some wise reason

and permit the evil to occur

rather than intervene.

Yet would this not mean

that each evil that comes to pass

is justified

and that it were better that it happened,

than not?

Yet here, I believe, we slip.

For the Creator creates

the whole

and so what we call

his intervention

is as much as part of his entire work

as what we call

his permission.

It makes no sense to say

from his perspective

“what could have been”

for he works at once, at all times,

creating a single Creation

enveloping every moment of all,

which makes a Singular

absolutely unique

and unable to be compared

with anything else.

Comparisons take place within the universe

not without it.

Each whole – which is what universe means –

stands independently.

Take away suffering, and, true

you introduce a good.

But what finite mind

that cannot see the goods of the whole

could tell what other is being sacrificed

by the omission?

Take away all suffering from love.

I have something good

but is it something I would recognize

as Love?

The goods which spring forth

in the soil of pain

are so connected to the pains themselves

that the two cannot be separated,

like how a marriage

which is composed of two people

ceases to be a marriage

if but one person stands alone.

Who knows what fruit God is seeing

in the soil of a suffering creation?

Who knows what mighty tree springs forth

from  what appears afterward

such a small seed?

I am not saying that

God could not make a world free of pain.

Perhaps he could – I see no contradiction.

But it seems quite a logical necessity to say

that if he were to make this world

one in which the good is asserted

over and against the evil

and which good is born and raised and purified

in the midst of pain and horror

then he could not make it without these things

for they are part and parcel

of the whole of creation.

All we must ask

and all we must decide

is

whether this world

even with all its pain

is still something we would say

Yes to.

Is it still something

when

taken as a whole

and balling up all its good and its bads

we would still want to taste

on the palate of our spirits.

And if so

then it seems strange

to see a contradiction in this process

of God making us into things

that have a certain appreciation

for existence.

The meaning that God is giving us

is what it is

infused with goods and bads

inextricably connected

like a drink of different flavors

that cannot be parsed

but only tasted and enjoyed

and then assimilated into

oneself.

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