The beginning of trust
“Nothing is done by luck or by chance but everything by the foreseeing wisdom of God.” This sentence from Chapter 11 of the Revelations of Divine Love is one of the sentences offered for the reading at Midday Prayer. It is comforting to think about if one mulls over the events of one’s own life — even the very uncomfortable memories can be seen to have brought worthwhile changes over time.
The observation sets Julian off in her wondering of “what about sin”. Julian accepts that God does nothing but good, but the tension of that acceptance with the events which humankind does in the world — or the natural disasters which seem to have no purpose behind them — is more than she can fathom. Humankind’s wrongdoing, so constant in its occurrence, can’t be ignored. She beseeches God to explain the quandary about “sin” but He only assures her that He will make all things well, and He tells her: “See, I am God. See, I am in everything. See, I do everything. See, I never lift my hands from my works, nor ever shall, without end. See, I lead everything to the end I ordained for it from without beginning by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it. How would anything be amiss?”
In the world we live in, this is not a simple matter, and should not be responded to simplistically. Yet we have a basic choice as to our response to this powerful statement. We can continue to agonize over the patent incongruity between human sin and divine sufficiency and goodness, or commit ourselves in trust to the wisdom infinitely greater than our own. Julian concludes (eventually) that such agonizing is much better done without, and that our own trust in God’s goodness will actually ripple out to help the whole creation. It is not an easy choice, and she recognizes the difficulty. Sometimes the most we can do is will to accept the suffering attendant on our inability to either understand or trust, and yet this, as poor as it seems, is the beginning of trust, and of the change that will ultimately create in us the trust and peace we long for.