gospel, wisdom

Believing Nonsense

I’ve been accused of many things. I accuse myself of many things. I am a lost and uncontrollable creature that has missed the mark, missed the point, missed my opportunity, missed out on too much. But I am maybe a little too confident for such an admittedly lacking and accused being. When I feel scratched by sackcloth and burned by the ashes. When it stings and smothers inside. When I fear I might be slipping into insanity. But yet intrigued to walk on. Even in confusion.

It is nonsense.

The sensible thing to do would be to stop. Stop being, doing, saying, thinking, moving, asking, wanting, expecting, living. When it hurts. When it’s hard. When there’s a chance it’s wrong. When there’s a reason to doubt. When there’s a question of what is really real. That is a reasonable response to the unknown. To the uncomfortable. To the unanswered questions. To the nonsense.

To be sure, not everything is nonsense. We can know true things about the world and our life and our situations. Most of our everyday life operates in the realm of cause and effect. Action and consequence. Things that make perfect sense. But every once in a awhile, we are confronted with something other. A disaster that came out of nowhere. An unprecedented discovery that doesn’t fit into our trusted view of the world. A compassion that is unexpected and undeserved.

It is nonsense.

And the sensible thing to do would be to ignore it. Don’t recognize those incredible things that have crushed your understandings. Don’t think about those realities that you cannot explain. Don’t be heartbroken by the unknown currents that you cannot control. That is a reasonable response to the nonsense.

At all costs, we want to be reasonable, sensible, and right. But what if nonsense is not the greatest evil? What if nonsense just offends our god of reason? What if nonsense is the beloved tool of a sensible Almighty?

Certainly the Creator of heaven and earth loves reason. He loves order. He gifts His law and commands, and presses them deep into our hearts and our image. He sets boundaries for the water and the sky. He provides instruction for His people. He gives His word in a language that His creatures are able to hear and understand. He acts in a tangible history, seen and touched by real rational humans.

But the Lord of All loves nonsense just as much. Maybe even more. He continually surprises both lofty and lowly. He hides where an infinite being shouldn’t fit. He speaks in parables so they won’t understand. He doesn’t reveal the reasons for His unbelievable acts. He kills His innocent son because of an absolutely nonsensical love.

It is nonsense.

And I am comforted. That maybe reason vs. nonsense may not be the ultimate battle for faithfulness. That if a reasonable and logical God chose nonsense to complete the reconciliation of His creation, what other nonsense must be embraced? Questions that will remain unanswered. Repentance that will not be felt. Forgiveness when it’s not asked for. Love that is never returned. Trust when it doesn’t make sense.

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-28

It is nonsense.

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