IN an age which offers a variety of escapes from the human condition, Christians are more than ever a sign of contradiction. They continue to believe that the search for God must begin with the acceptance of the human. They believe this because it is in the stable of humanity that God has come in search of us.
In the human experience of Jesus, God became available to us as the depth of human life. Thus, a Christian believes that the experience of ultimate meaning comes not from a leap out of the human condition, but a journey through its dark waters.
The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
--Psalm 126 (KJV)
Rise up, Lord, in defense of your people,
do not hide your face from our troubles.
Father of orphans,
wealth of the poor,
we rejoice in making you known;
may we find comfort and security
in times of pain and anxiety.
--Liturgy of the Hours
The Uruguayan political prisoners may not talk without permission, or whistle, smile, sing, walk fast, or greet other prisoners; nor may they make or receive drawings of pregnant women, couples, butterflies, stars, or birds.
One Sunday, Didasko Perez, school teacher, tortured and jailed "for having ideological ideas," is visited by his daughter Milay, aged five. She brings him a drawing of birds. The guards destroy it at the entrance of the jail.
One the following Sunday, Milay brings him a drawing of trees. Trees are not forbidden, and the drawings get through. Didasko praises her work and asks about the colored circles scattered in the treetops, many small circles half-hidden among the branches. "Are they oranges? What fruit is it?" The child puts her finger to her mouth: "Ssssshhh."
And she whispers in his ear: "Silly. Don't you see they're eyes? They're the eyes of the birds that I've smuggled in for you."