Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dear God ...

How do you help someone in her situation? Lord, if you're listening, that's what I need to know. I pray, yes, non-stop, but I wish I had the perfect words to say to her, to eradicate this pain she can't navigate. But what do you say to an 18-year-old who's just lost a close friend ... a one-time boyfriend ... to suicide? So I pray. And I weep for this girl I love so deeply, for this boy I never knew, and for his family and the grief that will never leave them. Death like this creates a massive Before and After. It's a chasm you can't go back across.

God, I know you're good, and kind, and merciful. There's no end to the adjectives that describe you. Your compassion is fathomless; but, God, I have to admit you aren't always what I want you to be, you seldom do what I want you to do. I wish, God, I could be your advisor for a while.

I'd tell you what it feels like to be let down, to deal with disappointment so big it can swallow you whole. I'd say, Lord ... a lot like the sister of Lazarus said to you ... if you'd only been looking, this awful thing wouldn't have happened. I'd tell you that maybe you should use some of your omnipotence to prevent things like 18-year-old boys from hanging themselves. Or from feeling the need in the first place. There's a lot I could argue against free will. But the thing is, I want it when I want it. Okay, I know, I'm definitely too fickle to be the advisor to God.

But I have to say, believing in you -- and I do with all my heart -- but believing in you creates more questions as I pass through this dark night of the soul than if I didn't believe; didn't believe a benevolent God truly cares about and enters into the affairs of humanity. Because things often make so little sense with you in the equation. If I didn't believe in you, I could say when awful things happen, "Well, that's just the way it is. It's fate, or whatever." But because I do believe and I know you could have made a difference in so many situations ... and yet didn't, that creates a huge disconnect between what I see and what I believe. Yes, I know, that brings up the whole faith vs sight debate. But I'm hurting too much right now to debate.

So the biggest question of all, God, related to so many issues, is ...

why ...?

why do You


Heather Marsten said...

Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Be with that child. Cry with her. Listen to her. And provide what support you can in a tangible way. When I had a miscarriage, well meaning Christians came up to me and said things like, that child is in God's hands now, God needed that baby more than you, you'll have another, etc. Those things did nothing to help me and everything to push me even further away from God. Now that I know God, I would take them as well meaning comments, but they did nothing to warm my heart to God when I was hurting. We don't understand. But we can be there to love and support.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Heather. Good insight. I completely agree.