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sovereignty, chaos, and weirdness

May 21, 2010

My friend Jane and I frequently greet each other by saying, “It’s a good time to be a Calvinist.” The greeting summarizes the futility of control and the weirdness that prevails around us just because we are denizens of a fallen world. We aren’t being smug; we are merely acknowledging that without Christ, and without the knowledge of God’s everlasting sovereignty, life would be meaningless, chaotic, incomprehensible, and unendurable. We would be bereft without the comfort that comes with knowing that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, for his glory and our good.

I had my hair trimmed this morning. It shouldn’t get much more prosaic than that. But as I drove down my street toward the salon, two dogs from the neighborhood chased a cat, very probably to its ghastly doom, across the street. The dogs ran like wolves packing, at full gallop, noses straight out, teeth bared. They were definitely gaining on the cat when they entered some brush and I lost sight of them. Someone from inside the house where I knew one of the dogs lived watched the chase from inside her screen door. She didn’t call her dog. I suppose stuff just happens in her life, and she just watches, impassively, out her window. It’s not her train wreck. It’s just the dogs’ nature, after all. Whoever heard of a law against dogs running at large in the city?

The weirdness was relentless. I had to drive through the Hilltop. A fellow drove a dented Camry 15 miles an hour through the 25 mile-an-hour zones, flashing his brake lights continually, for 2 miles. There was no traffic. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions….

I keep finding these Christian hairdressers: Good Women, who really, really believe God wants them to be happy. Just happy. Happy means married. I suppose the screeching sirens of the fiancé’s unbelief, immigration status, and employability issues, are deafening. In any case, she doesn’t hear them. Nor does she see the flashing red lights of her own loneliness on collision course with the freedom she doesn’t wish to give up. We talk, I assert some scriptural facts, our eyes lock, she swallows, and then murmurs her resolve that her fiancé wants to learn and he will change. Just for now, he still prays to mother Mary. Her heart knows better than her mind. I have to go.

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