Sunday, March 1, 2009
The Great Reconciler
Last night when I was reading, the final sentence of Chapter 4 was a real soul stopper. Such a soul stopper that I had to go back to it this morning.
The chapter opened with the main character, Adam, being very angry at his father, an alcoholic who has failed to complete a promised job. His mother assures him that his father has been a good husband and father, but that the drink has just gotten the better of him. To no avail she begs him to not be so angry with his dad. Adam did not heed her words, refused to eat his dinner as he prepared to stay up all night completing the wood work his father left undone. In contrast the younger brother, Seth, speaks lovingly to his mom, does not feel or speak harshly of his dad, eats the dinner she prepared, and tries to help an angry Adam who refuses all help.
The chapter ends with a tragic death of the father...the body is found by Adam and his younger brother Seth.
He ran back to Seth, and the two sons lifted the sad burthen in heartstricken silence. The wide-open glazed eyes were grey, like Seth's, and had once looked with mild pride on the boys before whom Thias had lived to hang his head in shame. Seth's chief feeling was awe and distress at this sudden snatching away of his father's soul; but Adam's mind rushed back over the past in a flood of relenting and pity. When death, the great Reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.
May we allow God to live in our hearts so fully that there is not room for severity.