Today I have been honoured to walk through the pain of loss, the pain of deep sorrow, the pain of disappointment and anger and failure and guilt with a number of friends who are each in their own way struggling through some of life’s most difficult moments while also navigating a pandemic and isolating themselves from the support they usually gather their strength from. The question keeps arising, why God?
Why do we hurt? Why does death happen? Why are dreams taken? Why are families broken? Why is the world so scary, so lonely? Why God?
Im sitting here working through my own ‘Why God’ moments, trying to digest all that I have heard today while also navigating the feelings that all of this brings up in my own self, feelings that I had thought I had put to rest. The anger, the disappointment, the fear and worry, the loneliness and the helplessness. I remember Tim giving a sermon illustration of walking in the room and one of Joshua (when he still couldn’t speak) throwing his arms up and smiling in greeting, yelling “Daddy” as he entered the room. He said in that sermon that we are like children, Abba is Daddy… Abba Father… Daddy. As I thought about that sermon I was reminded of what it was like when they were younger, Kaleb in particular who was talking on time went through the whole “Why” stage with a passion I have to admire. Everything needed to be questioned, and sometimes those questions got hard, “why is my brother sick?” Will my brother die?” “Why do the doctors have to hurt him?” and when Joshua got older and started talking his why’s were even harder because with age he also had a greater insight to life “Am I going to die?”, “Did you fall when I was in your tummy and break my heart?”, “Is God sleeping? He won’t answer me when I pray.”… as their Mum those questions may have been hard but they also afforded me a way to help them navigate their thoughts and feelings, to help them find a way to move towards healing or understanding, or just to comfort them. I didn’t mind, never minded the questions, even the hard and heart breaking ones.
I think about the times I have felt guilt for asking God the tough questions, even now in this pandemic, in the face of the racial injustices being played out on the world stage I find myself asking “Why?” on a fairly regular basis. Then today as I sat remembering that term Abba Father, Daddy and thinking about all those hard questions that I never minded answering I realized that I am not being unfaithful, I have no reason feel guilty or feel ashamed; I am simply being a kid and as my Daddy he doesn’t mind sitting with me and listening to my questions or navigating the harder questions with me. He would probably pat his knee and snuggle up close to me while I pepper him with my whys, hold me while I cry, stroke my back while he explains in his way something I can’t ever comprehend on this side of Eden.