Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Funny the way it is, if you think about it
One kid walks 10 miles to school, another's dropping out
Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
On a soldiers last breath his baby's being born
Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
Somebody's broken heart becomes your favorite song
-- Dave Matthews Band, "Funny The Way It Is"

I almost hesitate to write, because before I even start here, I know I have no ending.

Writers like to be able to tie everything up in neat packages; to come full circle with some sort of succinct concluding thought that brings it all together. Only I can't do that today.

Lately I've been thinking of some people in my life who continue to deal with hopes deferred. They lift up prayers that seem to go unanswered; they search for breakthroughs that don't come; they grow weary; they keep trusting; all hell seems to break loose against them yet they continue to cling to a God who by outward appearances seems to either not be listening or not care very much.

In times like these how easy is it in our very human nature to want to clench our fists together, look up to the heavens and scream, "WHY?!!"

I struggle with this, big time. I think in general our society struggles with this, and it's one of the reasons so many people have rejected their faith or can't accept the concept of having a personal relationship with God.

We are people of science; of cause and effect; of if/then statements and evidence and answers. We can't be left with I don't know. That's unsatisfactory. Everything that happens must be explainable. Then we can control it; we can harness it and digest it and make it ours.

Only God is not ours. And faith is not faith if it can be explained away in Three Easy Steps. I think if we believe first off that we are not random but created beings, we can understand just a little. What's the scripture, about the pot saying to the Potter, "Why did you make me?" It seems almost foolish. Yet this is what we do; we scream at the author of everything.

A friend once told me that she pictured our lives as this incredible, colorful mosaic. Any individual part was just that...one color, one pattern, not so breathtaking as if we were able to step back and see the way all of pieces in the end look woven together into something spectacular.

Life can seem funny, like Dave Matthews sings. The randomness. The way evil sometimes seems to win while good people suffer. Someone's dying while another gets a second chance. It can seem like a bad joke, I know.

I choose to believe it's not a bad joke. I choose to believe it's a mosaic, only I can see just a part.

You know, these days as I spend a lot of time nursing a newborn, a certain verse has been running through my head. I'll pick up a hungry, screaming baby, and she gets frantic. She's turning her head left and right, sucking on her hands, trying to suck my neck. She's distressed. Nothing will calm her. And I remember that verse, the one I just came across the other day:

"But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content."  (Psalm 131:2)

So many times I am the inconsolable newborn, turning back and forth, desperate for answers and explanations, and wanting them NOW.  Feed me information, God.

What does it take to become the older child, more mature, able to sit with her parent calmly, to be still and rest?

I guess it's trust. I guess it wouldn't be faith if you could see all the way to the end of the path.

I am guessing I will never have close to all of the answers...and that maybe, as I'm shaking my fist at God, He is busy crafting something I may never completely see, yet is more beautiful that I could possibly imagine.

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