"To us things are normal when they are going well. Health, affluence, peace - these are normal, so convinced are we of our own righteousness, of what is our due. But Scripture teaches the very opposite. Unfortunately what is normal now that man is separated from God is war and murder, famine and pollution, accident and disruption. When there is a momentary break in the course of these disasters, when abundance is known, when peace timidly establishes itself, when justice reigns for a span, then it is fitting, unless we are men of too little faith, that we should marvel and give thanks for so great a miracle, realizing that no less than the love and faithfulness of the Lord has been needed in order that there might be this privileged instant. We should tremble for joy as before the new and fragile life of a little child."
- Jacques Ellul, The Politics of God and the Politics of Man
(trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Eerdmans, 1972 ), 178-79.
But there is a deeper reality than even sin and human brokenness. God is not a god of chaos, but of peace. In Christ a new world has dawned. The Spirit therefore teaches us to be discontent with our discontented lives, to treat as normal not the passing age of pain, but the coming kingdom of healing. In light of this future, the ubiquity of evil has been unmasked as a grotesque aberration. To be normal now is to live amidst the dying as those who live again. To be normal is to reject the presumption of my own innocence and yet to be freed from guilt by the vindicated one. To be normal is to love the loveless and accept grace with thanksgiving. To be normal in these days is to be extraordinary.