Child of God

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

The Obligatory Cormac McCarthy Book Intro
I am a huge Cormac McCarthy fan. His ability to tell a story is unmatched among modern American authors. What makes his stories so compelling is that he does not ignore or sugar-coat human nature - he is willing to explore the very worst of us and the very best of us and everything that falls in between. The stories I have read have all invited me to ponder the great questions of life and morality posed by his stories.

Early on this book proposes the idea that all humans are created in the image of God, or have the divine spark in them. As such, each person is a Child of God. Even Lester Ballard, the main character in this story. Ballard is one the most haunting, tragic, and despicable characters created by McCarthy. What makes him haunting is the fact that there are people, even in our recent civilized history, that have lived or are living this way.

The realities proposed in this book - all as children of God and the presence of very dark darkness - caused me to think about the question of evil. In the case of Lester Ballard, when did things go wrong in his life? Was it abuse or neglect as a child? Was he genetically cursed? Was he ignored during his formative years? Was there a tragedy early in his life that forced him to live a feral existence? Was he an ignored orphan? Could his community embraced him early on and created a different outcome by love?

The story ends with these questions unanswered - leaving me to wrestle with the questions in our own reality of good and evil and trying to trust in a just and merciful God as He unravels these questions.

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