Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chapter 43: Concerning Glory and the "Flowers of War"

One of the most gruesome, graphic, and thought-provoking movies that I have watched in awhile was Flowers of War. Christian Bale plays the role of a man living in Nanjing, China during the Nanjing Massacre. He ends up posing as a priest and reluctantly taking care of a group of girls from the convent, as well as a group of women who come from the red-light district. Death, ignorance, betrayal, and other evils abound.

This is one of those movies like Hotel Rwanda - it's good to watch because it helps me remember that there are awful and evil things going on in the world right now (and since the very beginning). But unlike Hotel Rwanda, this film has stuck in my brain and I've had to wrestle again with one of the great questions: how can He let this incredible evil happen - especially when it seems to do nothing to glorify His name?

I'm still in the midst of that question. A coworker was talking yesterday about how the main theme of the Bible and of history is that it is not about us at all. People are important, yes, but His glory is way more so. And I agree. This I have seen in history, and this is what keeps our prone-to-growing-drastically-out-of-proportion pride in check - that we are not god. We can't know why He does things the way he does.

But when that knowledge and belief is tested . . . uffda. It's rough. It's awful to have to come to grips with the brokenness of the world. It's miserable to realize that people aren't inherently good (something I knew with my head, but not with my heart). And it's painful to see what grief we willingly take upon ourselves by our actions.

But although my heart is laden with the evil of some people, it's nothing to when His whole being was laden with the evil of the world. Once again, I'm amazed and dumbstruck at the gruesome glory of the tree.

And there's the hope in it all. Yep. People are evil. But there will be a day when that evil is swept away and we who believe will be shiny, new, and no longer prone to sin. And it's not for us, but all for him and His glory.

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