Frederich Buechner, Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale (0)
But [the preacher] must remember the ones he is speaking to who beneath all the clothes they wear are the poor, bare, forked animals who labor and are heavy laden under the burden of their own lives let alone of the world’s tragic life.
There is the one who can’t stop thinking about suicide. The one who experiences his own sexuality as a guilt of which he can never be absolved. The one whose fear of death is only a screen behind which lies his deeper fear of life. The one who is in a way crippled by her own beauty because it has meant that she has never had to be loving or human to be loved but only beautiful. And the angry one. The lonely one.
For the preacher to be relevant to the staggering problems of history is to risk being irrelevant to the staggering problems of the ones who sits there listening out of their own histories. To deal with the problems which there is a possible solution can be a way of avoiding the problems to which humanly speaking there is no solution. When Jesus was brought to the place where his friend Lazarus lay dead, for instance, he did not offer any solution. He only wept. Then the other things he said and did. But first he simply let his tears be his word.