If there is no God- no answer or larger picture- I always find myself asking, “then what the hell is this all about?” We attempt answers at that for thousands of years, but there aren’t many suggestions really are there?
My tears and groans are more prayerful the past week. A friend of yours told me he had been treating God like a peer, demanding answers- and needed to humble himself before God. I too have treated God like a peer, more like an imaginary friend than the Creator of all I see.
I don’t want a God who exists just because I need him too. I have never wanted religion as a crutch or believed in that. But if I find I need him and he is there, my need doesn’t negate the possibility that he truly is there.
I look out my window right now and see the green parrots that live here fluttering all around the big tree across the street. The earth is not just a planet with life on it.
It is TEEMING with life, in every body of water, way beneath the dirt, in the air.
Large creatures that we have given familiar names to and make into stuffed animals for our babies and toddlers-elephants and giraffes- roam the earth. Microscopic organisms live on us and all around us. “I believe, I believe,” I think begrudgingly like the young Natalie Wood in “Miracle on 34th Street,” hoping to get her new “home” for Christmas.
My isolation too pushes me towards the divine. The more I delve into and accept this present pain and darkness- the more isolated I become and realize that I must walk this one alone. No one else can truly know another’s personal pain or suffering.
But God. If he exists, he’d be the only one who knows me deeply- knows Dan deeply- and knew our relationship as intimately as we did. He’d be the only one here with me now- who knows truly what has been lost.
And the isolation also comes because most of my peers have not endured this kind of suffering. At some point, it just isn’t helpful anymore to relate to those who can only imagine. Another young widow tells me I will have to “reframe” what I receive from friendships- but that I still need their support. I had imagined before this happened- and I can tell you the reality is worse than you can conceive using your brain alone.
But God suffered. How could I relate to a God who is full of bliss and enlightenment? How could I go to him for love or comfort? Compassion= with suffering. Unless he knows the suffering. Unless he knows the darkness.
“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining.” Luke 23.44.
I’m sure I’ve been instructed on the suffering God before- but now it is no longer theological- its absolute necessity is deep and known. If I were to believe in a God of love- he could ONLY be a suffering God. There is no other way really I would want to approach him.
I realized lately that my strong desire for Dan to see me is both profound and very simple. Profound because if he can see me- not as a lingering ghost, but however he would be able to from his new reality, then that would mean- he is alive. His soul as I know him lives…we are separated, but he is not annihilated with his body. Simple because really what I miss most is just sharing my life with him. I miss telling him about my day and the little and big things. “Audrey said, ‘I like your pajamas mommy,’ this morning Dan! How do you like the way I carved the pumpkin Dan?” And now, also a whole other host of things- “Do you see how I’m handling everything Dan? Am I doing a good job? I am trying…” I am enduring my greatest darkness and I want to share this too with you. I miss sharing it all.
So, to be seen. This is the last thing I desire. And I once again find I don’t need to stretch the God I’ve followed to make him fit into this need. He already does. Hagar names God just that: El Roi, the God Who Sees Me.
To be known, to be understood in my suffering,
to be seen.
It is too good to be true really- the whole fantastical story that has spread over the earth in the last couple of thousand years. Is it true? I don’t know yet. I shall never know
except by faith.
“Lord, to whom else can we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6. 67-69