The Weathering Grace of God: The Beauty God Brings From Life’s Upheavals by Ken Gire
This is the book Mom and I just read. Ken Gire was a speaker at Wind River Ranch the first year we went. He was so good I bought his book. It’s been in my “to read” stack for some time. I recently blew the dust off and opened the cover. You might guess that the title could catch my attention at this time.
From the book:
“God’s purpose is to make us beautiful. As beautiful as His son in all His glory.”
“Upheavals come suddenly, unexpectedly, and often catastrophically. Whenever they come, however they come, they forever alter the settled terrain that once was our life… In time, God turns the most terrifying of eruptions into the most majestic of mountains, the most tragic of earthquakes into the most idyllic of landscapes. That is the unrelenting work of heaven, to make everything beautiful it its time.”
Talking of a tragedy befallen a good friend Ken writes, “Why? I can’t answer that. and if I could, I wouldn’t. At least not to the family. If an earthquake were to destroy your house, and you were sitting among the rubble, battered from the falling debris and bleeding from the shattered glass, crying out ‘why.’ what comfort would there be in someone giving you a geological answer for what happened? Or in this case a theological one?”
Ken proposes the questions in life are part of the journey, and that we should embrace the questions. Ken quotes a trusted friend when he said, “He explained to me with great insistence that every question processed a power that did not lie in the answer.”
Ken proposes that the unanswered questions drive us to God.
“Our unanswered questions are the grappling hooks we use to scale the North Face of God, who seems at times an Everest of indifference. The ascent is treacherous. And maybe why we brave the climb is because we sense that abandoning the climb might be even more treacherous.
Seasons of life – Ken sees himself in autumn, with fallen leaves – the losses in his life – on the forest floor. Contending that no loss is ever wasted in God’s economy. “But if it isn’t wasted and worn out, what happens to it? It reappears. The hope of nature is that the ‘next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.’”
“It has been painful to learn, but I have learned that with every loss comes a gain, if nothing more than the compassion we feel for others who have suffered similar losses. Gain comes out of loss the way life grows out of the life that went before it. My son grew out of me as his son will one day grow out of him.”
“The seasons come and go, generation after generation. The gains of spring come from all that is lost in the fall. Life grows out of the life that went before it. As everything that makes me who I am begins to melt and fade and die, I am not disheartened by the losses. I see my son walking beside me and slightly ahead of me, and I am filled with hope, ‘feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.’”