Last night around 10.
I walk across the George Mason campus after class, delicate snow flakes swirling in the glow of the street lights, swirling me into the delightful wonder of a child. I turn my eyes upward and stick out my tongue to catch a few flakes. People are watching, and I have a bag on my shoulder, but I want to stretch out my mittened hands and spun in a giant circle.
Freedom. Joy. Beauty. The deep goodness of God.
In class, we'd been talking about Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, about a LSD-induced world of delight that eventually fell to pieces, that fell so far short of everyone's dreams, that left us disappointed too. Earlier, I'd had conversations with two friends - about their desires for forgiveness and redemption in hard situations, about the seeming impossibility of it all. And my own doubts linger, questioning the goodness of a God who allows suffering, who judges and condemns.
Rebellion. Brokenness. Darkness. The holy justice of God.
I do not know how to hold all of this together, how to stand in the deep and dark places that are real and ever present in this fallen world, how to continue believing that redemptive love is deeper still, that true joy remains possible.
I do not know how. But I do know this - that the gospel is the thing that holds this together, that Jesus died to rescue us from the deep, dark, and deadly power of sin, that He offers us eternal joy and freedom in the depths of His grace and forgiveness.