It's a Metal World After All

On that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:11-12
I hear it rains a lot in Seattle. But imagine torrential rains that didn't stop for over a month. Or the ground beneath your feet literally giving way to the surge of a subterranean tsunami. All of that to an ancient mind that had never experienced rain before. What panic and chaos that must have flowed from the people outside the ark. They must have thought that mother earth was rejecting them like a bad transplant. For me, however, it's hard to not think of this as a cathartic moment for the earth.

photo credit: danorbit. via photopin cc
Earlier in the narrative we read that, "the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart" (6:5-6). As the story continues, it's clear that the flood was an act of judgment. But the gloom of a rainy day leads me to another conclusion that I won't even entertain as theologically sound: I think the earth wept for mankind that day.

The apostle Paul once wrote that all of creation groans amid its current bondage to corruption. Perhaps you've lost a loved one to that corruption. Maybe it was quick and virtually painless. Or maybe it was years of drawn out suffering from disease. Either way, Paul is saying that all of creation experiences this. The earth itself longs for relief from this present state; it longs for renewal. And while I still maintain no hermeneutical credibility for this, every time it rains I sense the earth mourning her sickness.

Grief for the Christian often gets obscured by the hope of things to come. And to some degree it should as our grief is only momentary. But the future isn't ignorant of the present. The Christian ought to recognize this better than anyone:
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. Ecclesiastes 7:2-3
The worst way to deal with sadness is to dismiss it. Mourning is healthy. And no one should think that it's poor spiritual posture to grieve because in it, we confess the inequity of a world given to evil. In it, we express with a ragged voice and bloodshot eyes that something is wrong. Things aren't right. We aren't right. As Christians united in Christ along with all the creatures, we join the earth and its raging storm in weeping for our own brokenness.

Now if only there was music that could convey these feelings...

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