The abolition of deserving

            “Cut this tree down! Why should it be wasting the soil?”
           “Let it alone until I dig around it and put manure on it.”
                           —from Luke 13.7, 8

Why do bad things happen to good people?
Because things happen.
God is not an algorithm.
Did the eighteen people crushed by the wall
deserve their death? No.
Does the struggling tree deserve to be cut down? No.
Jesus dispenses with the idea—
the demonic lie—of deserving.
There is no such thing.
God is not bound to the past
and our performance in it;
God is in the present moment.
God is not a cashier,
dispensing what we’ve earned.
God is life, and the giving of life, and nothing else.
No compromise. No conditions.
There is no “deserving.”
It is the lie of Satan, luring you into the past,
into fear, into bondage. It does not give life.
God’s will is not what you deserve,
but what you need.
Regardless of the accidents that befall you,
regardless of evil you do or the evil you suffer,
God’s will is to offer what you need to live fruitfully,
which is always mercy.
A tree that is not fruitful needs nourishing.
A person who is not righteous needs healing.
A son who has distanced himself needs family.
People who crucify need forgiveness.
A Beloved who has died needs resurrecting.
Dare to abandon your calculations
and its illusion of control.
From Life there is only the giving of life.
Receive, and you will have fruits to give.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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