I’m reading the formidable book “When God Weeps: Why Our Suffering Matters to the Almighty” by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes. The context for this quote is the passage in Genesis 15 where God makes a covenant with Abraham. He moves between carcasses of dead animals saying essentially: “If I fail to keep my word to you and your descendants, I will make myself like these animals–I will saw myself in two” (43).
And then, Israel broke the covenant, and continued day after day to choose evil and actually sank lower than the other evil nations who had been in Canaan before them! “Who now deserved to be sawn in two?” (44).
Now to the quote I keep coming back to: “For God…had created humans to mirror him, not to be miniatures of Lucifer. Something was needed to cut through the stench and salvage this pathetic race. Some medicine more potent than anyone knew of. Some procedure. Some life-giving surgery.
The king became Great Physician. Summoning his compassion and his plumbless wisdom he conceived of a surgery. How to save the patients without trivializing their guilt? (They had knowingly spread the fatal sickness among them.) How to cure them without letting the horror of the disease ever be forgotten? How to mingle mercy with justice? How to slice the cancer from their souls and leave no scar?
He prepared for the procedure by donning not gloves and a lab coat but a mortal body. Did it feel a few sizes too small? He stretched himself upon the operating table. His hand reached for a saw” (45).