The Gift of "Grease" that Lubricates the Wheels of Our Passage Through the Valley of Tears
The serpent testified to us that we would become gods without God in the valley of tears (Genesis 3:5). The serpent's testimony conjured up an illusion. We do not become gods without God in the valley of tears. Letting us stew in the valley of tears shatters the illusion conjured up by the serpent that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessness. Letting us stew shatters the illusion as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. God's pedagogy is severe. What better way to persuade us that the fire is hot than by letting us put our fingers into the flame? What better way to persuade us that a life without God in the valley of tears sucks than by letting us pass through it? In the valley of tears, the grist goes through the mill - the meat goes through the grinder. Crosses nail themselves to us as we pass through the valley of tears including the worst of crosses, death. The valley of tears is hostile territory. In the valley of tears our predicament is dire.
Our brutal encounters with our crosses as we pass through the valley of tears generate a wild cacophony of sighs, mourning and weeping (Salve Regina). The din of our suffering, however, did not go unnoticed. It left our lips, reached God's ear and finally broke God's heart. Our suffering (not our sin) moved God with compassion.
To address the problem of suffering, God the Father proposed to mount a philanthropic mission from heaven to earth. God the Son agreed to execute it. The Father gave the Son two assignments:
- Transport from heaven to earth the technology that greases the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears.
- Demonstrate that the technology works by using it himself.
The Son of God pitched his tent amongst us to teach us how to mitigate the harshness of our passage through the valley of tears. He came not to make our life on earth harder but to make it easier. In addition, he was dispatched to prove to us that the technology works by using it himself.
We had hoped that his rescue mission would be different. We want him to eliminate our crosses. God's conception of rescue, however, is different than our conception of rescue (Isaiah 55:8-9). God wants the grist to go through the mill - the meat to go through the grinder. God does not want to eliminate our crosses. God want us to pick up and carry them (Matthew 16:24-26). There is a difference in opinions. God's prevails.
We may not see the value in learning to pick up and carry our crosses (Matthew 16:24-26). But God does. So God the Father dispatched God the Son to teach us how to do it.
God hung from his cross to teach us how to hang from ours. When you hang as Jesus hung, cling as Jesus clung. hold tight and refuse to let go of love, our crosses invincible foe.
Love kicks sufferings ass.
God recommends that we love our way through the valley of tears because the primary beneficiary of doing so is ourselves. Many mistakenly think that the primary beneficiary of love is our neighbors. Not true. They are the secondary beneficiary of love. When we use the technology as we pass through the valley of tears, we preserve the resemblance that we bear to God. The more we love, the greater is our resemblance to God. When we don't use it, our crosses transmogrify us into the most hideous and miserable of loveless beasts. God wants to transform godless people into people of God. God wants us to become God. Love makes us god-like. Love is the only way to pick up and carry our crosses. Learning to love transforms us. Love turns us into superman. Love deifies us.
Love is the strategy that Jesus delivered to us to deal with our crosses.
Love is the "grease" that mitigates the harshness of our passage through the valley of tears.
The Son of God did not transport and demonstrate pie-in-the-sky, head-in-the-clouds technology. He transported and demonstrated down-to-earth, practical technology. We can use it today, not just tomorrow, profitably. It is relevant to this world not just to the next.
Furthermore, the technology is platform agnostic. It works whether you are a Roman Catholic, other Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist, Saint, Sinner or something else. It is open source technology. It is catholic in the broadest sense of the word. No religion has a monopoly over it. Furthermore, no conditions need to be satisfied before it can be used.
People who are suffering need the technology that Jesus transported from heaven to earth and demonstrated for us. Will you tell them? Or will you let them suffer? Will you keep your mouth shut or will you preach the good news of great joy?