wordsout by godfrey rust
The sailing of the ark  < 15 of 45


And still there is the old familiar puzzle:
how can he be omnipotent and good?

Did he use his power to manufacture evil?
Or have the will, but lack the means to stop it?

Or if, as it must be, neither can be true,
how should we comprehend this suffering God

who kills us with his endless loving-kindness? The
     question has
defeated the best minds that he made: this dreadful 

laid out the context for its own rejection, gave
to its beloved the gift of doubt, and mental tools

to fashion arguments to justify it; and then stood back,
watching as into the vacuum of its withdrawal

sin rushed like a wind, a kinetic power
as insubstantial as a hurricane.

An account of the most troublesome paradox of all: the existence of evil under an all-powerful, perfect God.

endless loving-kindness cf Jeremiah 31:3.

as insubstantial as a hurricane Sin must in some sense be a “negative” entity, as it is not a creation of God and cannot be a creation of anyone else, so I find the analogy of “wind” - which has immense power but no substance - helpful. I am encouraged in this view of the nature of sin by Karl Barth’s translation of the “chaos” in Genesis 1 as “the shadow of reality”.

Much of this sonnet (along with sonnet 14) was used in adapted form in the lyrics of Healing Touch (The Theologian's Prayer) on my album Prayers in Time.