Saturday, May 28, 2011

More questions that don't have answers

It happened again.

Another tragic story on the news, and I was an emotional mess. I was furious with God for allowing such a useless, horrendous thing to happen.

"Why?" I yelled. "What sort of good can come out of senseless tragedy like that?"
All night long I flipped back and forth between being angry, and begging Him to help me not think He was cruel.

I talked to a friend later on in the afternoon, who said, "All we can do is pray... pray the Rosary... and hold on."

Those who know me know that I have this "thing" about the Rosary. I've made a commitment to pray it because I think I'm supposed to, but I don't really understand.

In the evening when it was time to put Joseph down, I sat on my bed in the dark to feed him. Normally, when I'm doing this nighttime feeding, I'll pray the Rosary if I haven't prayed it earlier in the day. As I settled down on the bed, those words from my friend came back at me and before I really thought about it, I started to recite: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth..."

I wasn't in the mood to pray, I assure you.

I did the "intro" prayers, and then announced the first mystery:

"Well, since it's Friday, it's gotta be the Agony in the Garden."

I said the Our Father, and then started in on the Hail Marys. Usually my mind flashes to the beginning scene in The Passion where Jesus is bent over in prayer, and that's what I thought of. Then the thought hit me:

"What if, by becoming human, He voluntarily limited His knowledge of things? What if part of the agony He underwent in the garden was a lack of understanding of WHY things had to be this way? What if He asked the same questions I'm asking now?"

And then the verse from Hebrews came through loud and clear: "We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses... We have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin."

I was floored.

What if... what if THAT was part of His agony? I know I'm suffering just going through this little bit of it... but what if submitting Himself to a plan that He had devised... but could no longer "see" because He had voluntarily limited Himself... was part of the anguish?

I'm not saying He didn't know He was going to die and rise again... of course He did... but what if all the whys were no longer available to Him, because He voluntarily chose for it to be so?

That made that scene mean something even more, and I just started crying. It meant that He knew I was struggling, and wanted to help me out... it meant that He knows that you can't just glibly say, "I trust You through all this," because if it was that hard for Him, how hard is it for me, who has never once gotten a chance to see the "big picture"?... and it let me know that He wasn't mad, even though I was furious with Him.

After that I was able to tell Him that I love Him, and really mean it.

It doesn't make the suffering any easier, but if He *did* limit His knowledge that way, then He chose to experience what we do, being on this side of things. He chose to experience the confusion, the questioning, the wrestling with the "this-doesn't-make-sense-but-You-are-asking-me-to-trust-You-anyway."

I can trust a God Who did that.

[And then, of course, when I realized that I got yet ANOTHER answer to prayer through the Rosary, I had to laugh and say, "what are You trying to tell me with this?"]


Beth said...

This is awesome Ouiz and I totally needed to read this today. Leo is having a horrible time eating solid food and today I was questioning why this had to happen to him. I'm also getting really scared about his surgery (still many months away.) Thanks so much for posting this. and pray for us :)

Ouiz said...

Thank you, Beth.

And you're right. There's just so much that doesn't make sense... why did Leo have to have this problem? Why couldn't I breastfeed Joseph? Why a gazillion different things that just look like they're there to make us miserable?

Too often I have this image of Jesus sailing serenely through all difficulties because, of course, He's God. He can see all the threads come together and form this beautiful plan that we have no clue about here and now.

I shortchange His humanity, and forget that He chose to experience all the trials and tribulations we face daily, from stubbing toes to dealing with rude neighbors, crying babies, and people pestering you when you just want a few moments to yourself.

Did He also experience the questions when faced with tragedy? I don't know. But if He did, I love Him even more, because that's God putting Himself in that position so that He could empathize with us completely... and notice that He didn't sail through the experience saying, "Look at Me, puny humans! Look how easy it is to trust God! hahahaha!"

No... He's face down on the ground, sweating blood.

If it wasn't easy for Him, He's not expecting it to be easy for us... so His mercy will carry us through a lot.

And yes, I promise to pray for sweet little Leo, and your family, often!

That new picture on your header is so cute!!!! I wish I could figure out how to fix the picture on the top of mine... and yes, I know I have to replace it so that Joseph is actually up there!