Saturday, 22 September 2018

The intrusion of the weird

In her latest book of essays, Marilynne Robinson (one of America's great writers) writes sadly of her mother's seduction in her old age- housebound, with possibly little to occupy her still sound mind, reinforced by the views of similar neighbours and friends- by the views of a prominent right-wing tv channel in America. Her daughter's encouragements that the world was not about to end, and that the authority of Jesus on this was more robust than some pert blonde on a tv channel, were not enough to convince mother, who became more anxious, fretty.
Marilynne Robinson calls it 'the intrusion of the weird'. It can come from any direction, of course, and in a world of instant news and views, perhaps we are more prone to it than previous generations. Think how much time you spend on your newsfeeds. I confess to more time than is good for my soul and mind.
Which brings us to the nub. What has authority for us in our world view? Where is the anchor? What is the ground which will not be moved?
For me, it is God in Christ, moving always for the best with unpromising material, against a grain of weird, malign, unfortunate, despairing, cynicism. His words and actions act as a corrective to the moment by moment intrusions which would leave me prone to all sorts of weird, all sorts of malign, despairing cynicism. May you find hope and joy today in the one who promises 'life in all its fullness,', the True North to all our wayward compasses.  

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