Welcome. Thank you for joining me at Invisible Good. This blog is my exploration into how God's purposes and our free will intertwine (or not).
As a personal story consultant I often hear my clients speak of turning points in their lives. You know the kind of thing I mean. The event that changes everything. Sometimes it's children or a death in the family or a mentor who believed in them. As they tell me about it, the timbre of their voice changes. It is as if another voice comes in, or put another way, as if a story is telling itself in them rather than they telling me a story.
That may seem like woo-woo stuff to you but I stand in good company when I speak of exploring the intersection of free and divine will and how our choices shape who we become. It is a golden theme taken up by many writers and philosophers. My particular slant is that God seems to have a plan and a purpose that expresses itself no matter the twists and turns. We get there one way or another.
In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet tells Horatio there is a plot to kill him. Hamlet doesn't seem to take it amiss that someone wants him dead but sees the hand of God at work.
When our deep plots do pall; and that should learn us
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will- (Act V; Scene 2)
Circumstances, events, choices in our lives all seem to be our own at the time. We feel we are the masters of our fate, right? Maybe. No one chooses tragedy yet I have seen a goodness come from the hardest of times. Why is that? What does it take to respond to hard times, tragic circumstances, in a way that makes us better and in the doing experience God at a deeper level?
That’s what I want to look into in these pages (and I hope you'll join me). Through the stories of people I have met or read about--literature and life--I want to explore this idea that will not leave me: God is at work drawing us to Himself; He who is love incarnate.
For most of us that drawing is a matter of living long enough to slowly, painfully, inexorably let God love us, usually when we are at our lowest ebb. Still, we may not have to go through all the terrible times. Stories can help us see our way. We have the option to learn the lessons that have been hard won by others. I believe that stories can change lives for the better.
The stories I want to bring you are of the small and large ways that God teaches us to know Him in the events of a life, such as a priest who volunteers to replace a man in the gas chamber, of a poet for whom God sent a fog to prevent his suicide, or a chance word to a woman that turned her from a life of self-pity to joy, or the death of an infant that was not an end but a beginning.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And rides upon the storm.
And works His sovereign will.
William Cowper (1731-1800)
Do you have a turning point you want to share? Enter your story below.
Note: I respond to every person.