Wesley Hill

“in some old Teutonic and Scandinavian religions and mythologies there is an ideal of the “fated warrior.” This is the champion who heads into battle fully aware that doom awaits him at the end. “Defeat rather than victory is the mark of the true hero; the warrior goes out to meet his inevitable fate with open eyes.”14 Since making this discovery, I have thought often that this idealized picture resonates profoundly with the Christian story. One of the hardest-to-swallow, most countercultural, counterintuitive implications of the gospel is that bearing up under a difficult burden with patient perseverance is a good thing. The gospel actually advocates this kind of endurance as a daily “dying” for and with Jesus. While those in the grip of Christ’s love will never experience ultimate defeat, there is a profound sense in which we must face our struggles now knowing there may be no real relief this side of God’s new creation. We may wrestle with a particular weakness all our lives. But the call remains: go into battle. “There is much virtue in bearing up under a long, hard struggle,” a friend of mine once told me, even if there is no apparent “victory” in the short run. “Learning to weep, learning to keep vigil, learning to wait for the dawn. Perhaps this is what it means to be human,” someone has mused.15”


Wesley Hill, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality
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