i listen to a lot of stories during my day. i listen to random people’s stories to get to know them and i also listen to stories in the media to find connects for better conveying the truth of GOD’s love to people who i believe desperately need to know of HIS love. today while listening to radiolab i heard the fascinating story of l’inconnue de la seine (the unknown woman of the seine).
she was a young woman who was found dead in the seine river in the late 1880s. it is presumed that she took her own life and drowned. the pathologist was so taken by her beauty that he made a death mask of her face, a practice that was common at that time. copies of the mask spread until eventually “the unknown woman of the seine” became a cultural phenomenon.
i am not writing about the tragic cultural use of a young woman’s death. instead i want to focus on the eventual use of the young lady’s image. it is a use in which over 300 million people have participated. while norwegian toy maker asmund laerdal was developing rescue annie doll for use in CPR training he saw a replica of the “the unknown woman of the seine” and was convinced that this should be the face of rescue annie. this young woman’s face has been the face of rescue annie ever since then.
romans 8:28 says …
and we know that in all things GOD works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
i’ve heard this verse abused on many occasions to say that everything will become good for those who love GOD. that’s not what the verse says and it’s definitely not what we see in our lives. that young woman’s death in the seine river wasn’t a good thing and never will be. still good has come in spite of the evil that happened in her life. countless lives have been saved because of the 300 million people who have been trained in CPR by practicing saving the image of “the unknown woman of the seine.” i wish someone had been there to save her on that day but now others are saved in spite of the evil that happened to her. you see GOD’s goodness is just like that. it is so great that it takes even the evil that we do and that is around us and finds ways for good to still happen. that’s the point of romans 8:28, not that GOD will erase the evil that has happened in our lives, but that HE will defeat it and cause good to happen through what was meant for evil. HE is just that good.
i don’t know what evil has happened in your life. i don’t know what evil you have done or what evil has been done to you. i do, however, know that GOD is bigger and more powerful than that evil do matter what it is. HE can twist its desire for malicious ends to instead lead to good. HE is just that good.
SIDE NOTE – if you are not presently listening to radiolab you should start now.