Sometimes I don’t understand the Lord at all. By sometimes, I mean most of the time.
I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago as I walked up to a friend’s house for Easter lunch.
There were people in every direction that I looked. Bright colored outfits filled my eyes. Laughter and joy, my ears. Bellies were being filled and sugar comas were coming on…
Little did I know the Lord was going to challenge my faith and open my eyes within moments.
Across the yard I saw a shiny bald head playing on the swing set. As he got closer, I realized it wasn’t just a bad haircut.
He had scars on that shiny head of his… stretching from one ear across the top to of his skull to the other.
My heart sank and my appetite vanished. Cancer.
Lord, why the hell do you allow these things to happen?
I watched him like a hawk. I saw his love for life and I longed for him to see many more days.
While my attention was still on this little boy, my eyes darted across the yard, past the dessert table and noticed a middle aged white couple surrounded by four little black kids.
A smile spread across my face… I was fascinated to hear their story.
Two of the babies sat in the stroller as their beautiful foster parents looked deep into my eyes and told me the heart wrenching stories of their temporary children.
Abused. Rejected. Abandoned. Forgotten.
Again, my heart was wrecked.
As time went on, the 9 month old crawled up in my lap. We spun around and laughed and played. No words were exchanged, but within moments trust was built and I held her as if she were my own.
I trembled as I imagined what her eyes had seen and her body had gone through.
I watched as the young hairless boy ran past us as he clung to his youth. He grinned at me, but I saw confusion in his tired eyes.
It was evident he had been through more than an 8 year old should.
As the baby girl sunk into my arms, I was certain that she too had been through way more than anyone should…
I wanted to hold her in my arms for the rest of her life. Protecting her from any pain.
I smiled at those around me but my insides were in shambles.
I immediately had flashbacks to the look in my friend’s eyes as she mourned her cousins choice to take his own life.
The Africa babies rummaging through the dump to find even a morsel of food for their empty bellies.
The Indian woman who was gang raped… punctured with a pole, eventually killing her.
The child abuse cases I angrily clinched my fist through in my Social Work classes.
The hundreds of babies murdered daily because they are merely a symbol of shame or simply unwanted.
The seemingly weekly news headlines of the shootings at schools, malls, movie theatres…
I have so many questions that will I never seem to find answers to.
Why does cancer exist?
Why do parents think it’s okay to treat their children like garbage?
Why do tragedies happen?
Why is abortion legal?
Why are there thousands of innocent lives taken yearly due to drunk driving?
Why is there such a high suicide rate?
Why are there murders and rapes and epidemics?
Why why why.
None of it makes sense.
In John 16:33 Jesus says “In this world you will have trouble… But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
I cling to the truth that he’s holding us in the midst of this sick world. That this life is but a breath, a vapor, here for a minute then gone.
In the meantime, he fights for the abused. He heals the sick bodies. He weeps with the hurting. He whispers hope to those that feel like they have nothing left.
Although trials happen, although confusion and anger may blow through the roof… take heart. He’s overcome this world.