With the grain of the universe

“People who bear crosses are working with the grain of the universe.” (John Howard Yoder)

Another aspect of human life that I want to highlight and re-interpret again through the lens of Christ is suffering. I think I have come to the conclusion that suffering is actually part and parcel of our life, and that, in some sense, in suffering we are testifying and witnessing of Christ and hence the God whom we believe in.

It doesn’t mean I take joy at seeing others suffer. By no means. It actually means that we, as the church, should strive to alleviate suffering, locally and globally. Neither that it means that I celebrate injustice that I see all around the world. By no means. It actually means that we, as the church, shall cry out against it and be for the people who experience it.

But, it also means that I should not begrudge of God whenever I face an adversity in my life. And that I shall bear patiently whenever I was treated unjust by others. We are whom we follow, and we follow Christ, who was reviled, but did not revile in return; who suffered, but did not threaten, and continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly (1 Pet 3.23). In that way, we testify of Christ who bore our sins when we were still sinners.

All of us want a happy and free-of-trouble life. But, I guess, in the end to be in tune with the music of the universe means to suffer. When we suffer, we become witnesses of our God, who indeed suffered and died so that the world could live. As Yoder said it, people who bear crosses are working with the grain of the universe.

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