LENT: Week five, Saturday – Dancing with God

“‘The voyage was not without reward for Alan,’ Marc said. ‘But we are left with Anne’s question. Why would God bring him all this way only to die now?’ He paused and looked at Sofia before continuing. ‘The Jewish sages tell us that the whole of the Torah, the entirety of the first five books of the Bible, is the name of God. With such a name, they ask, how much more is God? The fathers of the church tell us that God is mystery and unknowable. God himself in Scripture tells us, “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts.”‘

“The noise of the forest was quieting now. Siesta was the rule in the heat of midday, when three suns’ aggregate light drove many animals to shelter. They were all, priests and lay, tired and hot, and wanted Marc to finish. But Marc waited until Anne lifted her eyes to his. ‘It is the human condition to ask questions like Anne’s last night and to receive no plain answers,’ he said. ‘Perhaps this is because we can’t understand the answers, because we are incapable of knowing God’s ways and God’s thoughts. We are, after all, only very clever tailless primates, doing the best we can, but limited. Perhaps we must all own up to being agnostic, unable to know the unknowable.’

“Marc continued, ‘The Jewish sages also tell us that God dances when his children defeat him in argument, when they stand on their feet and use their minds. So questions like Anne’s are worth asking. To ask them is a very fine kind of animal behavior. If we keep demanding that God yield up his answers, perhaps some day we will understand them. And then we will be something more than clever apes, and we shall dance with God.'”

From Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow


Posted on 04/16/2011, in LENT and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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