The Margin of Mystery

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Recently we’ve enjoyed good news…

Yesterday the church parent and toddler group re-started. All went really well. Messages of gratitude… ‘Just wanted to say a huge thank you! It was so wonderful to see you all yesterday. E and A had such a good time.  It was so good to feel that a little normality has returned after such a long time.’

And a wedding last weekend: I have had the best weekend ever surrounded by all those I love the most and my beautiful M and her wonderful husband D had the wedding of their dreams…

Conversations with children, young people and parents. starting and re-starting school and college. New lessons and experiences; new friendships emerging, existing friendships re-established. The excitement but apprehension of going to university for the first time…

Alongside the good has been the sad…

Close friends and family members… recent diagnoses and ongoing life-limiting conditions… prostate cancer, brain tumour, long-term Covid… a son’s suicidal tendencies, a brother-in-law’s dementia, a sister’s depression… several bereavements… shattering, devastating, life-changing, potentially all-consuming.

Good and bad news, predictable and unpredictable, excitement, frustration, sadness, grief, hope, despair…

I step back, finding myself in a place that a friend recently described as ‘the margin of mystery’ with unanswered and apparently unanswerable questions.

Ron Dunn in ‘When Heaven is Silent’ says that in this age of science, computers, and problem solving ‘we cannot live with mystery’. We demand an explanation, a reason, someone to blame or something to provide the answer.

I thought that as I got older I would understand God and the world better; I would have more answers to difficult questions. I identify with Dunn who says:

‘As our knowledge of and fellowship with God deepen the more we trust him, and the more we trust Him, the less we understand. Once we recognise this, peace of mind lies within our reach.’

I find myself living increasingly in this ‘margin of mystery’, but that’s OK.

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