“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t.” CS Lewis
Love that CS Lewis quote regarding the nature of suffering. So often when struggles and suffering come our way we think, “this isn’t fair” or “why me” or “why did God even let this happen?” It is really, really hard to rest in Him with trust even in the midst of suffering.
I had a major revelation once, trusting in the Lord was actually about my own comfort level, my own well being. It’s His kindness towards us that asks us to trust in Him. God doesn’t “need” our trust, He’s not trying to “earn” our trust, and with it or without it, we’re going off the top of the waterfall anyway. Trust is more about, how loud are you going to be screaming on the way down?
I do a lot of screaming. It was a major revelation for me that God would actually prefer I just enjoy the ride. Fall headfirst in a panic, glide gracefully, or just fly delighted, joyfully, your choice. Either way He’s going to catch you at the bottom. How you get from point A to point B is really up to you. Your choice.
For the literalists out there, please do not jump off of any cliffs. That is simply a metaphor. Life often feels a bit like free-falling off some high place to me, and learning how to say “wheeeeee” all the way down, is so not my thing.
What I hatz the most is watching others needlessly suffer, pointlessly suffer, just all that wasted life and potential being flushed away, all jerking and twitching and covered in sores. Meth and heroin addiction mostly, I just hatz it. It just breaks my heart to see the walking wounded, the Walking Dead dying daily right in front of me, rambling incoherently, and I got nothing to offer but empty hands.
People sometimes yell at me, “how can you believe in a God who sends people to hell,” but that is so not my world, my world is more like, how can we pull this guy out of the zombie realm, away from the Walking Dead, out of this living hell he seems to have gotten himself trapped in?
My world is more like banging my head on a brick wall a whole lot because watching others suffer from a totally preventable, man-made hell, is such an exercise in powerlessness and frustration. It is really, really, painful. Addicts at least have some anesthesia, those on the outside watching them destroy themselves get to experience their whole addiction without any pain killers. We get to do other people’s suffering for them, while stone cold sober.
There is so much denial in this community, so much minimizing. I really hatz that too, I hate the way people look so surprised when they encounter addiction and just can’t avoid the truth. Like, he’s just another casualty of the greatest epidemic to ever hit the US, we’re about two decades into it now. Where the heck have you been all these years??
So many of my illusions about people have now been completely shattered. I’m being kind of judgy here, but for some reason I had always assumed that when your neighbors, friends, people’s kids start dying all around you, you would at least sit up and take notice. I need to forgive people for being so blessedly oblivious.
I stepped around a baby girl the other day, probably in her 20’s, with a pink hello kitty blanket over her head, water bottle and backpack laying there so like my own child’s, and my heart just kind of broke. I stepped around her so casually as I have learned to do, and yet I was crying inside, grieving the loss, the sheer helplessness and futility of it all.
So I just cry, I grieve them all, I offer my tears up to the Lord and He collects them in a bottle. Somehow I think it really matters to Him, and that He knows my grief is a choice, that it is Godly sorrow over what darkness we have wrought upon ourselves. Darkness we wrought against the beauty that He created, beauty now trying to sleep it off under a pink hello kitty blanket.
I am so sorry Lord, that we did this thing, that we orchestrated this perfect storm that now comes upon us like a sneaker wave to steal, kill, and destroy all these lives that are so precious to you.
As CS Lewis also once said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
How do I know this darkness in our world is all wrong? Because I know the One who makes it ALL right.