A Haunting in Venice

The famous detective Hercules Poirot declares in this film that he has lost all faith in any signs of the soul or an afterlife. He has seen too much suffering in the world, too much of war and the bitter indifference of humankind. He would love to believe in God, because with God there is everything – order and meaning and justice. All the things that matter to this detective, but he has seen too much evil to now believe. However, Hercules is missing something, the Bible is full of people living in times of great evil and injustice. Ruth, Moses, Esther, Mary, Jonah, Gideon, Jeremiah, David, Miriam. And of course Jesus. So many living with terror and tyranny. And the Bible tells us of their faith and their prayers and actions in the face of such evil. The psalms are fierce in their calls for justice and meaning and order. They are there because the world is so wrong. They are they for us to use, to quote and hurl at the heavens when our hearts break once more.
What Hercules is overlooking, it seems to me, is that the world is not right. It is broken, and it is longing for the day when it will be fixed. It is groaning for fairness and the eternal reign of the King of kindness. The writers of the bible never try and pretend that because there is a good God the world is free of pain and loss. Rather, because of their faith they cry out for change, and they do what they can to work against the systems of harm and destruction. In the small and great things. One day the world will be as Hercules wants, full of order and meaning and justiceā€¦ this vision is of the new age that Jesus began when he died for the whole cosmos. But for now we find ourselves wrestling with life and its shortcomings. Not pretending all is well, but looking to the God who longs for a better day much more than we do.

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