But we might ask ourselves the same question about the story of our faith. A story of lives called, hardships suffered, and death certain. To a point, Christianity is a story of abject failure. Of Jobs and Judases, of Passions and prisons. If to unbelievers it is a fairy tale, then it is a very dark fairy tale. And yet we know that all of this suffering isn’t for naught. What seems a story of loss is in fact the most brilliant, if not stealthy, triumph. Enveloped in pain and suffering, the Christian narrative sneaks in tender mercies and unexpected miracles, loving acts and timeless wisdom. And it is all capped off with an unfathomable Resurrection. There is grace that ultimately and completely washes away the devastation of man. There is a faith that understands the larger story.
I never thought of it that way. But he’s right, what a story it is.
The man who had forgotten who he was is reminded of the dignity he had forgotten. This is why I teach King Lear. And why I love it. This is what I want my medical students and residents to understand. That though we are broken and complex, our dignity (and the dignity of our patients) is independent of status, power, or possessions. And sometimes, in this world of tragedy—a world that sometimes just doesn’t give a damn about you or me—we need to be reminded and to remind others of the dignity that we have forgotten. The dignity of being a child of God.
His students are lucky to have him as their teacher and mentor.
~ Finding Grace in the Consuming Blackness of “King Lear”