When I lay [my] questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of No answer. It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but in waving the question. Like, “Peace, child; you don’t understand.” -C.S. Lewis
I recently experienced a very heavy darkness that lasted about a month- through E’s first birthday. While Little Hiccup transitions into being a year old, with all the successes and failures of it, I am broken hearted, my soul is downcast within me- that I never got to watch my daughter Heidi grow through those changes.
Not only have I wept, I have also been angry. “Fuck. No one else will have their baby taken from them in the middle of the night. No one else but me. I’m alone. No one knows the depths of my pain.” I have shouted that through the darkness of my soul. If I’m honest with myself, I’m railing at God.
Why? Why would he take my precious girl from me? Why would he take the soul of her body while she lie safely, contentedly asleep in my arms? Why would he take her in the middle of the night? Why would I have to suffer in this way as a mother? Why must I long for the days when I held her? Why must I think of death and Heaven every day with pangs of longing?
Despite my deep sadness and pain, I have not had suicidal thoughts with this grief. I was suicidal when I was 16. I thought of how I could end my life quickly. I wanted to leave. I just wanted the spinning-out-of-control reality to end. I wanted all the pain of the world and my inability to cope with it to cease. But I received an anonymous note the night of my serious considerations, and it read something like, “God made you and He loves you. He has great plans for your life. He will give you purpose and meaning. He values you today and every day, no matter what.”
By the work of the Holy Spirit, I snapped out of my anger toward God and I let go of my plans to end it all. I continued moving forward with the counsel and care of older, wiser Christian influences.
I would lie face down in my room to this song- Walk By Faith.
I look back on that and think to myself, “I chose not to take my own life and I chose to walk by faith for THIS moment?”
No. I am simply suffering because my Jesus also suffered and because he prepared this road for me.
I have not made peace with that yet. But that is the simplest answer to why. Only He understands why.
Sometimes it seems our greatest hope is that we don’t understand. Because from the vantage we have when we are feeling low, the sense of the futility of life, and the apparent finality of death, can all but overwhelm us.
Far better to acknowledge that our understanding is limited, to relish the stories of faith and intuition that come to us- and wait and see! … What if someone trying to view Michelangelo’s magnificent painting of “The Creation of Adam” in the Sistine Chapel got so close that all he could see was two fingertips touching? … a very small piece of the whole picture. -Martha Whitmore Hickman
When my soul is darkest, I ask him- though I’m also angry with him- to come into my deep dark corner, to sit with me, to just be with me… I know he’s there. He cannot deny himself as the Truth. Though I don’t understand him, I can know him through creation and his words and his character.
Our questions are unanswerable. The real question is one of trust. -Martha Whitmore Hickman