[Jesus] has appeared to me, again and again, in spit-up and poopy diapers, in weepy eyes and runny noses. He has appeared in the mess and the tiredness of it all, and said, Here, touch me. Put your hand in my side.
God doesn’t solve every problem. The sick person doesn’t always get healed. The dead person doesn’t always rise from the grave.
There had to be more to God than I’d experienced. There was something bigger, deeper, more mysterious going on which I didn’t understand.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of using gold to fill cracks in broken pottery, or to weld together broken pieces. The object is then seen just as beautiful as before, if not even more beautiful.
Beauty is found in the brokenness.
God is in dark, dark places. But not with an instant pick-me-up solution. Sometimes it seems He is doing nothing and that perhaps He isn’t there. The cries for help seem to bounce off the ceiling. Pain is painful, and no less so for believers.
But alongside the truth of suffering, we need to acknowledge the truth that God is good, and that He does good work in dark pits.
Unfortunately, far too many of us suffer because we think the questions mean we are not true believers. That if we had a real faith then even in the most tragic of situations we wouldn’t have any questions. That our faith would be unshakeable. Unbreakable. That’s the lie. I can’t help but wonder if the opposite is actually true. What if our questions actually reveal the strength of our faith rather than its weakness?
I was allowed to be myself. I was allowed to be overwhelmed, and I wasn’t rushed to the tidy, theologically correct end. I was discovering a God who could handle all my upset and questions, I was discovering a God who was not placidly unconcerned about our world—in fact, this God of the Bible seemed to have some very intense emotions too.
living in such close proximity to death had marked me. I woke up at night, sensing its heavy breathing on the back of my neck. I saw it everywhere I went: its inevitability, its steady, onward march. It will eventually take everyone I love. It will eventually take me. I paced the house. I felt anxious and afraid.
It’s easy to think that God was punishing me. That’s certainly the sort of theology that permeated my childhood. My depression, and the scattering of people from my life were one big judgement. I found a home in the wailing language of the Psalms.