Has it been a while since you had a good cry? Then I have a book for you.
Jonathan Gibson wrote The Moon is Always Round after the stillbirth of his second child. In attempting to explain to his young son why his baby sister wouldn’t be coming home with them after all, and how a good God could allow such a loss, Gibson reached for the image of the moon: even when it is in shadow, it is still round. When it looks like a crescent, or a wedge, or squashed circle, the moon is still round. And just as the moon’s shape never changes, God’s goodness, even when his purposes are obscured, never changes either.
We are living through one of these “new moon” phases, when we have conversations like this one daily with small children. My younger daughters want to know why they can’t go see a friend, or go to school, or play on the playground at a favorite park. The pat “because we don’t want to get our friends or neighbors sick or to get sick ourselves” answer doesn’t satisfy. They want to know why the coronavirus has to happen, when it will be over, and why it had to affect them.
And my best answer is, I don’t know. But God does, and he is always good.
Though we see, at times, only a sliver of God’s light and goodness, or though he seems to be, like a new moon, obscured or absent, God is still here. He is still good. No shadow can change his fullness or goodness.
The Moon is Always Round is a book of beautiful hope and truth, and it is a book we need right now. It reminds us (even the grown-ups, weeping snotty tears and warbling as we try to keep reading aloud) that our God is still faithful even when we don’t understand what he’s up to.
The Moon is Always Round
Jonathan Gibson; Joe Hox (2019)