Tuesday, May 03, 2005

questions with no answers

Okay, so it has been awhile since I have posted. Not that I think tons of people are out there anxiously awaiting my next post. But I have had some people ask me why it has been so long. Honestly, I have had a really hard time figuring out what to say. Not that I have nothing to say, anyone who has known me for about a week or more knows that I have plenty to say. But lately it has seemed like I just have so many words and thoughts and don't know where to begin. I find that when it gets like that, I sometimes have to take a break and get my thoughts in order. However, I have a feeling this particular post is still going to be somewhat jumbled.

To be honest, I have been angry lately. I have experienced some serious questioning of the Lord and it has been hard. I am not through it and do not know when I will get there. All I know is that someone long ago was very right...life is not fair. Why is it that my husband and I became pregnant four months after marriage, while on birth control, totally unplanned, still with a year left of college, even after doctors told me it might not even be possible...and yet...I have family members whose babies have died in their arms...complete strangers whose blogs I read daily whose babies are fighting for their lives,some who have not won? Why is this? I love my precious baby boy and thank God every day for the blessing he is in my life. But I refuse to believe the foolish words of those trying to be a comfort saying that "it's all part of God's plan" for other babies to die. NO! Death was not part of His plan. Our fallenness took God's perfect gift of life and turned it into the sin, pain, injustice and death that we witness daily.

I love the Lord, and I do believe that He has a plan. Do I believe that He can work through horrible catastrophes in our lives? Yes. I have seen it firsthand. But I also know that I am a comfort to no one, especially one who is watching their child suffer, when I pretend to ignore the pain that cuts us deep, that makes us human. We cannot ignore the questions...maybe I am just a cynic, but I guess that's why I am also what Mike Cope has called an "already, but not yet" kind of Christian. Yes, I believe that God's reign has broken in, but I mostly long for what is still to come. As he said in part of his January 3rd post...

I deeply love "already Christians." I need to be prodded by them. But I don't share much of their outlook. And it seems at times like their hyper-confidence is damaging to struggling people.
When they talk about all the times God has spoken to them, I think of all the silences. When they speak of instantaneous healings, I remember all the people I've pleaded with God to heal but who died (including my daughter). When they talk about how God keeps pouring down his blessings (often meaning homes, cars, vacations, etc.), I think of all the people who become poorer as a result of their faith.
They speak of a way of blessing. The gospel speaks of a blessing that involves loss and persecution. They leapfrog to Easter Sunday; the gospel goes through Good Friday and Silent Saturday.

There is a new song by Natalie Grant that has really ministered to me because it speaks of this very thing, and is just completely raw and honest. I just love the song because it speaks so boldly and truthfully...i think that is why it can touch people, because it doesn't try to cover up with the same old cliches about God always having a plan...while of course this is true, that is sometimes not the most comforting thing to hear...you want to be told that it is okay to hurt and to grieve...and to know that this is what His love means for us...not that this world will not be hard, but that when it is hard and horrible and full of sin and pain and death, He will hold us...here are the lyrics...

Two months is too little, they let him go, they had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would take a child from his mother while she prays is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued? What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares? We're asking why this happens to us who have died to live...it's unfair...

This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held.

This hand is bitterness...we want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow. The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held.

If hope is born of suffering...if this is only the beginning...can we not wait for one hour, watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held.

This is what it means to be held.

I appreciate the line at the beginning that says it is appalling to think of a child being taken from his mother as she prays. I do not pretend to know what it is like to lose a child, or that I have the perfect words to say...I don't think there are any words that you can say. Even now as I type, I know I am failing to say what I truly wish I could. As a mother, I cannot imagine losing my sweet baby Jack. I do know that instead of trying to have wise words about what God's plans are...I am going to leave those plans to God. He will be the ultimate haven of rest...but in this life, I want to be a shoulder that is okay to cry on, an ear that doesn't mind the screaming, and a heart that shares the pain of my brothers and sisters.

Death was not part of His plan. I trust in the Lord and His unfailing love. I know also that the same Lord who gave us that love watched His son die on a tree for my fallen soul. And I know He must have hurt deeply for His child. Perhaps we can learn a new lesson from that familiar story. It's okay to hurt, it's okay to be angry. It's important to remember Friday as we anxiously await Sunday.

I thank God for the ways that He does use tragedies to bring people to their knees, to bring families together, and to turn His children's eyes to Him. But I also pray, more than any of this...

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.