by Eric Santillan
In the Genesis story of creation, God sees everything to be good:
“And God saw that it was good.”
I had a difficult time understanding this in the light of everything that happens in the world. There is evil, bad things happen to good people, life is suffering, there is a lot of dysfunction and disease, and people harm other people. I thought the writers of Genesis only meant that when God created everything in the beginning, He really meant for everything to be good. Until evil came.
But someone once told me that the word GOOD used in the first chapter of Genesis, did not mean the absence of evil. The word GOOD meant “everything will turn out well in the end”. So if we’re going to be faithful to the translation, the writer of Genesis was really saying: “And God saw that it will turn out well in the end!”
It is a good that waits. It is a good that does not conquer like a War Lord. Rather, it is a subtle good–the kind that rises like the sun in the morning. You never really know when the dawn breaks out of the dark, but it creeps, slowly, gradually, patiently, until it finally overwhelms the night.
In a prayer experience during a retreat several years ago, I remember imagining Jesus bringing me into the heart of a sinner—the worst sinner imaginable. I imagined going with Jesus and entering the sinner’s heart—“seeing” and “feeling” the darkness inside. It was akin to Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole—the darkness seemed never-ending and blacker than black.
Then from somewhere, light from a candle flickered in the darkness. In my imagination, Jesus started moving towards the light and when He was near enough, He lovingly embraced the flickering light, protecting it with His body, protecting it from the darkness and the elements.
And in that prayer, Jesus made me understand, “This is what I came for in the heart of this man. I came for this light. You only see darkness and because of that darkness you do not forgive and cannot forgive; but there is light; and as long as you help me embrace the light, the darkness will never overcome it.”
It could be the heart of man. Or it could be the world. There is so much darkness. So much hopelessness. So much evil. But He has come to embrace the light and protect it from the darkness and the elements. And as long as we help embrace the light, darkness will not be able to overcome us.
Yes, there is evil. Bad things happen to good people, life is suffering, there is a lot of dysfunction and disease, and people harm other people.
But God has seen it! it will turn out well in the end!
Happy Easter everyone!