I’m prompted to write in response to “Why” and hope to stay concise, hope more to make sense of wondering why.
I agreed as I have before to meet a parent who was considering joining our suicide bereavement group; but, wasn’t quite sure.
My role in this exchange is to listen. I acknowledge I do not fully understand, I just listen, make my workspace their safe space. So, I listened to a father talk about his son and say he had no idea why, why his son decided to complete suicide.
Years ago, I escorted a parent from my office and the issue over believing in God or not came up.
We both wondered how you get by without God, without believing in His comfort and His knowledge. As if it’s an answer to no answer. We don’t know; but, God knows.
So, if there’s anything good about never knowing it’s at least a certainty to know that only God knows.
I suppose when there’s no answer, you eventually maybe can rest in “only God knows”.
That was my rationale and I wished I’d recorded it back then ’cause right now I’m not getting it quite so clearly the way I meant and felt. (reader, you can agree)
A father shared how the mother was worried about heaven or hell. The child had never believed; parents always questioned, maybe believed some things and wavered on others finally giving up altogether because of what circumstances in their lives it seemed God turned a blind eye to.
I responded because I felt he waited for me somehow to reassure, brush off the concerns or as if I, not only was a listener but some skilled and astute theologian.
I’m neither astute nor very theologically skilled. I base my belief on my life experiences with God and God showing me I matter significantly to Him.
I’m a beaten and battered ever questioning sinner saved by grace who believes because of answers to prayers and because I know the me that not believed and I’d not ever want to be her again.
The father waited.
I said what God gave me. “What happens between God and people is personal and there may have been a decision he made, a change in heart and choice to toss out the intellect for the faith and hope and mysterious grace.”
What I intended as consolation caused an expression of concern, confusion and the tone of our talk changed and I went with the change as was appropriate.
But, it bothered me it was not my “place” to say more. It bothered me that I’d never know if that relationship with God happened for his son. It bothered me that the father did not have the Father as a comfort for himself.
The comfort of the only thing that might make sense be the sense made by God.
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NLT
The truth of His peace, tangible and ever-present, the truth of His Sovereignty and His abhorrence of evil, evil things, evil people and the power through which they touch us.
Touch some so much more than others.
I don’t know how it feels to lose a child. I cannot say I can feel the emotions I should feel as I’m drawn to the photos of children outside their school, surviving but forever traumatized. I do not know how parents feel who were looking for their teenager, frantic, their chests surely caving into their backbones only to be told what they imagined coming true, their son, their daughter, one of the victims in a school.
I do know; I too, I’m afraid would wonder why.
Why God allows terror and tragedy.
But, I pray I’d not wander far, I’d remember His peace and I’d not abandon or question or dispose of what I believe, what I know. What I’m reminded of every minute, every day.
I pray I’d be at peace with not being all knowing and that eventually, the grief would be less evident, less debilitating and dreadful if I was able not to wonder why.
Would it be sufficient for me to remember some things are secret, are not to be known here on earth by me? Perhaps, knowing not knowing might ease the pain.
The secret things belong to the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 29:29
I really can’t say, for I’ve not experienced secrets like these.
One thing I do know; God would know and be okay with me wondering why and He would welcome my desperate and pleading complaint.
Responding with a peace only He can give, I suppose like a “secret” peace I’ve committed to knowing, not always understanding, often wondering why it’s mine to embrace, still committed to know it more.