Bethel University, with campuses in St. Paul and Arden Hills, MN, has cut thirty faculty and thirty staff for the fall semester. Professor Chris Gehrz fears the college may not survive if other factors reduce enrollment.
Even if we could somehow suspend our fears of an invisible contagion spreading a potentially fatal disease, many of us at Bethel are experiencing the death of dreams and ideals and relationships. Losing a faculty position at a place like Bethel means the loss of income and stability, but also threatens a loss of calling. Most of those who lose their positions will struggle to find anything like a true replacement; many will have to leave academia and seek work in a depressed economy.
None of the anger, anxiety, and loss that people are going to feel this week is magically eliminated by a resurrection that left scars on Jesus’ own body.
I still believe my late friend Glen Wiberg was right that nothing, not even the brokenness and grief of mortal existence, is wasted, that God is “gathering up the fragments in resurrection so that nothing goes down the drain, nothing at all is lost.”