“But work He does.”

October 21, 2012

I recently reread Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, the last book in her Anne of Green Gables series, placed during World War I.  I started reading this series when I was in the tail end of elementary school, and I’ve been rereading these books ever since.  Somehow, they never get old.  Or … maybe it’s that I just never mature.  Haha. ;]

I never noticed it before, but these stories really speak to both the theology of its time and the theology of the author.  I guess it’d be impossible to tell the story of people’s lives and have it so real and believable unless their deep beliefs and thoughts about God (or not) bled through all their comings and goings.

Some conclusive theological points raised in dialogue between the characters or in individual thoughts are off, I think, but some are pretty sound and poignant.  And all the more so as illustrated in a life story.  Case in point, dialogue between two characters about God’s “involvement” in the war — a war they felt keenly, as they sent their fiances, husbands, childhood friends, and sons off to the trenches:

“We think very lightly, Mr. Meredith, of a calamity which destroys an ant-hill and half its inhabitants.  Does the Power that runs the universe think us of more importance than we think ants?”

“You forget,” said Mr. Meredith, with a flash of his dark eyes, “that an infinite Power must be infinitely little as well as infinitely great.  We are neither, therefore there are things too little as well as too great for us to apprehend.  To the infinitely little an ant is of as much importance as a mastodon.  We are witnessing the birth-pangs of a new era–but it will be a feeble, wailing life like everything else.  I am not one of those who expect a new heaven and a new earth as the immediate result of this war.  That is not the way God works.  But work He does, Miss Oliver, and in the end His purpose will be fulfilled.”

(pp. 165-166)

It was a good reminder in an unexpected place. :]

Work He does.  And it is a good work.


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