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day 24: even when I wonder about redemption

Some days I’m not sure if I still believe in redemption.

I know, that’s very off-brand for me, considering as this blog was started under the name “redemption pictures” some five years ago, but there it is all the same.

Some days redemption feels like a gimmick, a ponzi scheme, a shell game.

The preacher was talking yesterday about how there can be redemption for everyone, but I wonder sometimes. There are a hundred miraculous stories of new beginnings for shattered families, hardened criminals, broken hearts. And a hundred more not-at-all-miraculous stories of the steady downward trajectory of people who were fucked from the very beginning.

And I want to believe in redemption (who wouldn’t?). Most days, I do.

But there are days when it seems like the story of our lives, and of humanity as a whole, lives on a razor’s edge between hope and meaningless annihilation, and whether or not it has a “good ending” is dependent entirely on when it ends.

There are inspirational quotes about how things turn out ok in the end, and if things haven’t turned out ok yet then maybe it’s not yet the end. But the opposite is often true just the same… that if things are still ok, just wait a little longer and they’ll go entirely to shit.

I guess mostly I wonder whether the “still ok” outweighs the “entirely to shit” when the total of human experience is accounted for?

How can we say with confidence “It gets better?” when as often as not it would be just as accurate to say “It’s going to get worse.”?

And if we can’t say with confidence “It gets better?”, why do we get out of bed tomorrow morning?

Is the hope of redemption nothing more than a construct we’ve invented to stay alive one more day?

(But I want you to know that even with all these questions in my heart, I still ate the bread dipped in wine on Sunday morning, because even when I wonder about redemption I still hope for it)

This blog post is part of #write31days. This year I’m skipping out on a theme and going with ten minutes of unedited free-writing every day (unless I don’t feel like it, let’s be honest). You can read more posts from my #write31days by clicking here.

published October 24, 2016

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