I know it is a long title.
This week I have been impacted by two writers, followers of Jesus, who have deeply impacted my life and who died in the last few days.
I struggled on the weekend to understand (I don’t) why a young woman of 37 with two young babies would die so soon. This is the cry of the human heart. When tragedy comes we are shaken.
Rachel Held Evans died on the weekend, an author, speaker and leader. I wondered why I was so affected by someone I didn’t know personally. I had read some of her blogs. I admired her courage.
Relevant Magazine said this about her in a post on Monday: “Rachel Held Evans was a singular soul; a refuge for the disenfranchised and doubtful. She saw the millions that had been harmed in Jesus’ name and assured them she didn’t blame them for their hurt and anger.”
Rachel dared to ask questions out loud that many of us won’t voice. It is too unsettling, because it shakes our faith. My faith was very shaken some years ago when I dared to ask myself some of the questions I could not find answers for. The God I knew could not stay in the box I had carefully crafted, and I became undone.
As I wrestled with my faith, I came to a place where I could be ok with questions. I could be ok with not having all the answers. As I get older, the more I know that I don’t know. I am usually good with that, but if I were to be honest, not always.
I take great comfort in the scriptures where the writers also asked the questions. Where are you, God? Why have you forsaken me? King Solomon was surely having a bad day when he wrote: “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:3
God is a God of mystery. There is much we don’t understand, that I believe will be made clear when we get to heaven. Or perhaps it won’t matter then…
There are a few things I am certain of, in a world of uncertainty. That God is Love. God loves me, and loves everyone. I believe there is always hope. These are the things I cling to when I’m feeling sad.
Another precious man we have long admired died this morning. Jean Vanier has been a steadying influence and mentor for both me and my hubby. His gentle ways, his heart full of love, his ability to care for the most marginalized with grace and humour, his great love for Jesus; this has impacted our lives.
As I think of both of these precious people, one young, and one who lived to be 90, I am thankful for their words and lives, the influence of which will live on and continue to inspire many.
To live with the questions, to me is a honest life. To know I am loved is a cherished life. To respond with compassion for others who suffer is a privileged life.