Thursday, March 23, 2017

Close call

In assessing the problem of evil, one consideration is that there's nothing quite like the experience of deliverance from personal calamity or impending calamity. Situations where a person is at the end of his tether. He's run out of options. Threatened by circumstances that leave him in despair. Such hopeless, dire situations are what drive some people to the brink of suicide, or drive them over the brink. 

To feel cornered, to stare disaster in the face, only to be delivered at the last minute, is an inexpressible relief for those who experience it. In the words of the black Gospel song: "My soul look back and wonder how I got over. Had a mighty hard time coming on over. I've been falling and rising all these years. But you know my soul look back and wonder how I got over."

In the nature of the case, only a creature in a fallen world can have that experience. To escape one near miss time and again. But by the same token, if we always knew that another reprieve was just around the corner, we wouldn't feel threatened in the first place. There'd be no tension to alleviate. So deliverance can't become too predictable, too routine, something we take for granted. 

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