Matt Rhodes | Beliefnet
Last spring, the Sunday following Easter Sunday, my beloved mother died. The church was celebrating victory; I was living in defeat, in despair, in death. The minister who
had come to the hospital prayed repeatedly that she would be restored to life,
that the cancer would be broken and beaten, that victory would be ours.
What we did not hear in the prayers was who God would be for us in the face of defeat.
I heard nothing of God’s fidelity to us even in death. The prayers spoke of the
strong, kingly God, of the God who breaks and beats, not of the crucified One
who was broken and beaten. The church, like the rest of our society, likes to
win. We need to win so badly that we come up with comforting aphorisms about
how losing is good, but only so you can be better suited to win next time. It’s
good to be knocked down, but only so you can find your boot-straps while you’re
on your backside and raise yourself up. What happens here is that we do not
know what to do with defeat and with its most final version, death. We learn
from our defeats but only so we can discard them and put them at arm’s length.
Yet the truth of all our lives, whether we are Christian or not, is that we
will all die.
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