When bad things happen

Adrian Plass is an old hero of mine. Here’s part of a letter from his website this month:AP

In the course of this month I’ve lost most of the use of my right hand because of a stroke, together with something akin to neuralgia, also connected with the stroke, which causes a continual, throbbing headache. It’s a long haul, and the future is uncertain, but medication and hard work are already beginning to show results. The thing I want to make clear, though, is that, however shitty things get, they will never be a measure of God’s love for me or those who are close to me.  Terrible things happen to Christians. They die in car crashes. They become paralysed. Businesses fail. Dreams plummet. Nightmares become reality. Our leader was crucified. If we can’t beef up our puny little theology by embracing and incorporating these inescapable facts we might as well give up our ridiculous faith and join the Ember Day Bryanites. They do coffee and biscuits. They’ll do.

Not for me. I’m in for the long haul, stroke or no stroke.

Yours, written with my left hand

Adrian 

Read the rest here (please do). And if you don’t know Adrian’s work, the best place to start is his bestseller, ‘The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, aged 37 3/4‘, which manages to be both hilariously funny and deeply profound at the same time.

First, prayers are in order for Adrian, Bridget and their family.

Second – yes, it is often true of those of us who were raised in charismatic Christianity that we have an excellent theology of healing but a terrible theology of suffering.

Third, this from the Daily Office lectionary for today:

‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us’ (Romans 5:3-5 NIV 2011).

Carry on.

h/t David Keen

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Tim Chesterton

Family man; pastor of St. Margaret's Anglican Church on Ellerslie Road, Edmonton; storyteller; traditional folk musician and occasional songwriter. Email me at timchesterton at outlook dot com.

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