Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bless You, Prison

I was listening to Ed Noble's podcast and I haven't been able to get this quote out of my mind. I have copied it from John Piper's blog (Click here for Piper's whole post on that quote):

It was granted to me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts.... That is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me: “Bless you, prison!” I...have served enough time there. I nourished my soul there, and I say without hesitation: “Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!” (The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, Vol. 2, 615-617)

There's a sense in which all of us need to have a "Bless you, prison" moment. Otherwise we would not be awakened to grace. 

It's not the time for a post on supralapsarianism (click here), but it's amazing how our sin has brought out the fullest expression of God's love, "expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2)

In our prison of sin and bondage comes awakening, repentance and rebirth.

"Bless you, prison, for having been in my life."


Ed Noble said...

Wow, I didn't know Piper had quoted my boy AS. Great minds!!

Metropuritan Mark said...

Dude, I ended up listening to/reading his Harvard speech, and it was interesting. It brings out some important worldview differences b/w the East/West. It was helpful.