| || ||
God Writes Straight With Crooked Lines | Mary Beth Bonacci | Ignatius Insight
Things don't always turn out the way we'd planned them. Fortunately God know that, too.
God writes straight with crooked lines.
before that my life seems to run in "themes", and this one seems to be cropping up everywhere I turn
It was the theme of the homily I heard on the Feast of the Assumption. I had never
applied my little ideas about crooked lines to the Assumption, but it definitely applies.
Death was not part of God's original plan. When He placed Adam and Eve in the garden, it was not so
that their bodies would eventually get sick and waste away. There would have been some transition
where they left this world to join Him in Heaven. But that transition would not have been "death"
as we know it.
Death came with sin--specifically through Adam and Eve's decision to
disobey God. Sin brought all kinds of nastiness to the world--disease, unpleasantness, bickering,
cruelty, war--and death.
Not God's first choice for us.
But God didn't just
sit back and let us stew in our own sinfulness. He intervened by sending His Son into the world to
make things right. He met us where we were--in the midst of our sin. He wrote straight with
And, in order to do that, He created Mary without the taint of original
sin. She, like the rest of us, was redeemed by Her Son. But in her case God allowed to happen a
Death and decay are a result of original sin. Since such sin didn't reside
in Mary, she was not subject to death. God assumed her into Heaven.
Nice, but what does
it have to do with us? Simply that God still writes straight with crooked lines.
after I heard that Assumption homily, I attended a wedding where--surprise--the homily was about
how "God writes straight with crooked lines." At this wedding, the bride and groom's adorable
little son was sitting in the first row. Back when his mother first learned she was pregnant,
everybody was upset and the future wasn't looking bright. But they turned to God, and to the
guidance of the very same priest who gave that homily. The father began taking RCIA instructions,
and was baptized into the Catholic Church. Their son was born. And now this beautiful couple is
married, and finally living together as a family with their son. It's been a long, hard road, and
I'm sure both would tell you that they understand why God asks us to do marriage and children in the
But they turned to God, and He wrote straight with the crooked lines in
their lives, and created a beautiful, faithful family.
I see God writing straight with very
crooked lines right here in my own hometown. I've been involved with our department of social
services, trying to figure out how I can help children who have been abused or neglected or born to
drug-addicted mothers. I attend classes in a large room, full of people who want to make a
difference for these kids. Some grew up abused or neglected themselves. Some are couples--with or
without children of their own--who want to reach out to these kids. Others are single and
childless with a lot of love to give. Each of us is taking the crooked lines in our own lives and
hoping--with God's help--to turn them into something beautiful for a child who has faced lines
more crooked than most of us could ever imagine.
The thing about God and His writing is
that we have to turn our crooked lines over to Him. That isn't always easy. Sometimes the crooked
lines are our "fault"--we're living the consequences of our own decisions or sinfulness. Other
times the crooked lines appear through no fault of our own. But either way, we naturally want what
we want. When our lives don't go the way we expected them to go, we tend to want to wallow in it.
We don't want to give up our own dreams, our own pictures of how we expected our lives to look.
It isn't easy to "let go and let God." It's hard to wrap our brains around the idea that He
loves us more than even we do, and that in taking away something we want, He will often give back
something still more beautiful.
But we have to let Him
There's a real power in
our powerlessness before God. When we go to Him and say "I give this situation to you. I trust you
and I trust in Your love for me," He swings into action. That doesn't mean we become passive and
stop doing what we need to do in the world. But we turn the outcome over to Him, in full confidence
in His love.
That's when He writes straight with the crooked lines of our lives.
And that's a very good start.
This column originally appeared on RealLove.net
on September 10, 2008. Click here to read more of Mary Beth Bonacci's columns.
Related IgnatiusInsight.com Links/Articles:
My Imaginary Funeral Homily | Mary Beth Bonacci
Do All Catholics Go Straight to Heaven? | Mary Beth Bonacci
Be Nice To Me. I'm Dying. | Mary Beth Bonacci
Death, Where Is Thy Sting? | Adrienne von Speyr
Purgatory: Service Shop for Heaven | Reverend Anthony Zimmerman
The Question of Hope | Peter Kreeft
Are God's Ways Fair? | Ralph Martin
The Question of Suffering, the
Response of the Cross | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
The Cross and The Holocaust | Regis Martin
Why Do We Exist? | Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.
From Defeat to Victory: On the Question of Evil | Alice von Hildebrand
Doctor, Convert, and Mystic: The Life
and Work of Adrienne von Speyr | IgnatiusInsight.com
Perceiving God's Will | Adrienne von Speyr
The Point of It All | Peter Kreeft
Mary Beth Bonacci is internationally known for her talks
and writings about love, chastity, and sexuality. Since 1986 she has spoken
to tens of thousands of young people, including 75,000 people in 1993 at
World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado. She appears frequently on radio and
television programs, including several appearances on MTV.
Mary Beth has written two books, We're
on a Mission from God and Real
Love, and also writes a regular, syndicated column for various publications.
She has developed numerous videos, including her brand-newest video series,
also entitled Real Love. Her video Sex
and Love: What's a Teenager to Do? was awarded the 1996 Crown Award
for Best Youth Curriculum.
Mary Beth holds a bachelor's degree in Organizational Communication from
the University of San Francisco, and a master's degree in Theology of Marriage
and Family from the John Paul II Institute at Lateran University. She was
also awarded an honorary doctorate in Communications from the Franciscan
University of Steubenville, and is listed in Outstanding Young Women
of America for 1997. Her apostolate, Real
Love Incorporated is dedicated to presenting the truth about the Church's
teaching about sexuality, chastity, and marriage.
the Insight Scoop Blog and read the latest posts and comments by
IgnatiusInsight.com staff and readers about current events, controversies,
and news in the Church!
| || || |