Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life is Hard, Especially For Jane Eyre

I started reading Jane Eyre this week. I am really enjoying it, and this is a relief as it is a book I feel obligated to read. Especially since I have pretended to have read it in the past. I think we all pretend to have read more books than they're actually read; I hope. At least I will pretend this is true; I cannot be the only one who feels overwhelmed by the vast universe of books I haven't read. Back to the point: I am really enjoying Jane Eyre, not just the book but the character too. Jane is magnificent.

Jane Eyre is brave, bold, and smart. I wish I was more like her. I hope I am a little, but not too much, like her. Where I am reading she has just had a rather pointed dissent from Christianity. Jane feels, reasonably, that it is unjust for her friend Helen to submit patiently to undeserved reprimands and punishments. This is a common feeling; injustice is hard to stomach. I have felt this way, and every human, especially children, feel this way from some or all of the time. We want the world to be fair and it is not. There is not a neat and easy truism that makes this problem go away. There are comforting truths; explore them. Today I will not give answers away. Some truths do not feel precious, or even trustworthy, unless you've wrestled with them yourselves.

Read Luke 13, in which Jesus explains that bad things do not just happen to bad people, and in which he heals the sick, and laments the difficulty of salvation.

Read Job, in which a lot of bad things happen to a pretty good man who feels rather put upon by it all, but in the end God has a thing or two to say as well.

Read John 16, in which Jesus promises that in this world we will have trouble, but that he has overcome the world.

Read Hebrews 12, in which the author submits a perspective of hardship that is rather comforting if you've been blessed to have kind and loving parents.

Read 2 Corinthians 1, in which Paul reflects that his hardships have equipped him to comfort and serve his neighbors.

Read Jane Eyre.

Live. Ask. Struggle.


We are not given an easy answer for why God doesn't prevent bad things from happening. He does not promise to, which is at least a testament to his honesty. Bad things do happen; wrestle with it. Read the Bible. Ask the Lord. Let me know any insights or conclusions you come to, that's what the comment section is for. Good reading, and God speed.

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