Thursday, July 6, 2017

What Punishments of God are not Gifts?

This from a GQ interview.  Stephen Colbert describes the plane crash that suddenly killed his father and brother when he was 10 years old.
 “ ‘You gotta learn to love the bomb,’ ” he said. “Boy, did I have a bomb when I was 10. That was quite an explosion. And I learned to love it. So that’s why. Maybe, I don’t know. That might be why you don’t see me as someone angry and working out my demons onstage. It’s that I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.”…
I asked him if he could help me understand that better, and he described a letter from Tolkien in response to a priest who had questioned whether Tolkien’s mythos was sufficiently doctrinaire, since it treated death not as a punishment for the sin of the fall but as a gift. “Tolkien says, in a letter back: ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” Colbert knocked his knuckles on the table. “ ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” he said again. His eyes were filled with tears. “So it would be ungrateful not to take everything with gratitude. It doesn’t mean you want it. I can hold both of those ideas in my head.”
He was 35, he said, before he could really feel the truth of that. He was walking down the street, and it “stopped me dead. I went, ‘Oh, I’m grateful. Oh, I feel terrible.’ I felt so guilty to be grateful. But I knew it was true.”

1 comment:

KEG said...

Hi Pastor Ben,

Boy that's one I relate to. Had no idea about Colbert's brush with death. When it's your turn, it really does swing your mind around from what's right in front of you all the time to what's coming up from behind you, slow and steady usually, but every now and then quickly enough to hit you from behind with a shock that knocks the breath out of you. It opens your awareness, or as the MIL guys say, your aperture. And then after you get over the why me stuff, you start to thinking what would happen if it went all the way. What if you didn't make it, died. Then what? It was the seed God planted to make a believer out of me almost thirty years later. A real gift. Would absolutely never ever want to have to go through anything like that again. But like surgery, it has a purifying effect. The best stories I think of becoming a Christian are the ones where the man or woman can never remember a time in their life when they didn't know Jesus. Sometimes I wish that was my story, but His timing is perfect, an "On Time God" as the song says.

In Christ,