If I Were a Sword Maker…

If I Were a Sword Maker… October 3, 2007

Alright, it’s just occurred to my that my approach to Catholicism is almost all through analogy. Hmmmm… If you have patience and time for another one, here’s how I explained Redemptive Suffering to a Baptist minister while in labor with our dead child. I could have included it in the Ru-486 post, as it was the same day, but I think it needs its own spot. Do me a favor and breathe deeply every 2 minutes as you read it…I was in labor, remember.

So, here’s what the minister who was sent to me for pastoral care said and my response:

Him: We don’t know why these things happen. We don’t know what God’s purpose is in them. They seem so senseless and there doesn’t seem to be a point. All we can do is trust and hope that one day we understand.

Me: Of course there’s a point, it’s called Redemptive Suffering.

Him: I’ve heard the term, but it is not one which I am familiar or comfortable with. I can understand the longing for finding meaning in meaningless pain, but it’s just not there. This world is pain. That’s all the explanation there is.

Me: No, there is a point, want me to explain?

Him: (skeptically) GO ahead.

Me: Let’s pretend for a second that I’m a sword maker. I’m sure that they have a name for those guys, but I don’t know it, so pretend I’m one of those guys who makes swords. I would take a big lump of metal, I’m not sure what kind really, I’m only a pretend sword maker, and throw it into the fire. After a while, I would pull it out and beat the hell out of it, then I would throw it back into the fire. I would do this over and over again, the throwing it in and beating the hell out of it. After a while, I would cool it in a big bucket of water and then start polishing it and sharpening it until it was sharp and shiny and was a sword.

Well, it’s kinda like that. God’s making me into a sword and I just happen to be at the “beat the hell out of it stage”. That’s okay, because at the end, He will cool me off and polish me up and I will be sparkly and shiny and I will be a sword. And I’m a girl, so shiny and sparkly work for me.


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