Rereading the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and ran across this exchange between three characters in the novel. Thomas Covenant is conversing with another character, Mhoram, one of the Lord’s of The Land, and (my favorite character) a giant by the name of Saltheart Foamfollower:
Covenant: “We have beauty, too. We call it
Mhoram: “‘Scenery,'” Mhoram echoed. “The
… word is strange to me–but I do not
. like the sound.”
Covenant felt oddly shaken, as if he had just looked over his shoulder and found himself standing too close to a precipice.
Covenant: “It means that beauty is something
. extra,” he rasped. “It’s nice, but we
….. can live without it.”
Mhoram: “Without?” Mhoram’s gaze glittered dangerously.
And behind him, Foamfollower breathed in astonishment,
Foamfollower: “Live without beauty? Ah, my friend! How do you resist
Covenant: “I don’t think we do,” muttered Covenant.
—Lord Foul’s Bane, Stephen R. Donaldson, p. 284 (Paperback edition)
“Resisting” is a significant theme in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant but also in much of literature. Resisting sorrow, resisting change, resisting the relentless pursuit of time, resisting the downward pull of relational gravity, resisting despair.
The gospel, the glad news, is the Christian’s answer.
The empty tomb is our hope and stay.
The demonstrated-love of the cross is our cry.
The promise of forgiveness,
The hope of the resurrection,
The invitation to eternal life,
The purpose of justice and righteousness,
The call to build a Kingdom that the gates of hell will not prevail against,
This is our answer;
This is our shield against the creeping onslaught of despair.