[pullquote]Whatever you say about God you should be able to say standing over a pit full of burning babies. —Elie Wiesel[/pullquote]
I want to have this conversation about questions in pain, knowing full well, it carries it’s far share of agony.
If going through a tough time isn’t bad enough, just the idea of questioning God can curtail any real reflection on what He’s been up to.
Maybe you think to yourself…
Who am I to question God?
Or…you double down with self talk…scolding yourself that it is you who needs to have more faith, and that maybe if you did, you might not be in the predicament you’re in.
But is it ok to to honor your doubt? Is it ok to question God…or just question where He is in your pain?
If you’re like me, that sort of constructive monologue to the sky doesn’t usually last long. Just the needed audacity to properly wrestle with this is enough to remind you that you have some email to respond to. Anything but dealing with hopelessness you fear is on the other side of an unanswered prayer.
And it’s definitely easier to forget after you learn your fly has been open after that certain keynote. Harder to ignore when someone pesters you with the truth of genocide. Or when they call you and nonchalantly tell you that your only son is dead.
I imagine that tends to stay with you. And everyone that heard you scream it out. Actually it all does.
And yet so many seem to find comfort in cheesy, half-baked answers. I know I did at one point in my life. Laziness is a son of a gun.
So I’ve had my fair share of conversations in stain glassed fish bowls…where brevity, and sharp nods of knowing, are chosen over the needed squirming that an open sky of questions demand.
Now…I’m apologetically unsatisfied with the sort of thoughtless crap, parading around as faith, that becomes the virtuous response to what drives the rest of the world mad, if not worse.
Can we ignore the elephant in this court room of life?
Can we slang arguments for and against God, and ignore what so many experience as the empty defendants chair?
Who doesn’t feel like history doesn’t oft betray our secret. A perennial crime scene, that we all relive at various times, individually, as nations, and people. And to relive some of these acts, open up wounds of collective consciousness…causing our once bright certainty, to cower, at times, in the shadows of a grief ridden doubt.
I don’t like making excuses for silence. I’d rather remain silent.
As these wounds heal and re-open, as our 24 hour news cycle bring to us again, the bloated bellies of truth, we must face this complex experience we call life, and any talk of God must be done with the same groveling of the Psalmist David when he exclaims…as I imagine it…to an empty sky…
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me, when I call, answer me quickly. For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.”
What man, woman, or child, has not prayed that prayer, whether in last gasping breath, or heavy sigh? So I do ask the hard questions, and will question God, and for all those who have ever prayed that sort of prayer, I understand it when you do.