Recently, I watched a video of a man singing “Blackbird” to his dying newborn son after his wife had already just passed away. I was really moved by it, and I quickly wrote down the following response as I thought through it all. It hasn’t been edited. I started out to write it as a poem but I don’t even know what to call it, really. It’s just my heart.
Why is there suffering in the world?
How could a loving God allow a mother to lose her child moments after delivery?
How could a loving God allow a father and husband to lose both his wife and child in the same week?
How could a loving God tolerate war and evil year after year. Decade after decade. Century after century.
How could an all-powerful God never intervene in the darkest situations?
If His light shines in the darkness, why is it still so dark?
I have no answers.
Well, I have theological answers.
I have answers that come out of textbooks.
I have answers from sermons and essays of wise men and women.
I even have answers from the Bible.
But to look someone in the face who just lost their entire world and tell them, “All things work together for their good,” just doesn’t seem like it will cut it in the moment.
I have no answers.
In the heat of the worst fires of life, it doesn’t matter how eloquent you can make your response.
In the midst of death and destruction of the worst kind, it doesn’t matter how right your scriptures actually may be.
Sure, there are amazing stories of people who write hymns in the heartbreak. There are stories of hope and joy in the middle of pain, and we call them heroes who endure it with shouts of praise. And maybe rightfully so, they are heroes.
But for someone who can’t seem to open a mouth full of praise, or who doesn’t want to hear another cliché Christian quote, maybe there are no answers that words can give.
I have no answers. I have no words to numb the pain
I honestly don’t know if there are answers in this life. I believe that everything matters, but I don’t know if our brains could comprehend the actual answers we so fiercely desire to know.
I don’t know if our bodies could handle the answers to all the questions of the ages.
One day we will see clearly, but now we see dimly. It’s like looking through a dirty glass. You can’t quite make out what is happening on the other side, but you know something must be at work.
I have no answers. I have no words. I only have Jesus.
I only have a hope that all of this is not pointless. That the pain and the loss and questions all mean something to him, and that he has a plan beyond what we can understand. Beyond what our minds can handle.
It’s not God’s job to answer all of my questions right now.
It’s not my job to answer everyone’s questions.
I don’t have all the answers because I don’t need to have all the answers.
Maybe silence does not indicate doubt.
Maybe silence does not mean we are alone.
Maybe the best answer we can have is to stand with the broken and hurting and just close our mouths.
Just shut up with our eloquent responses.
Let the noise subside.
We don’t have to fill someone’s ears with answers.
The less listening the ears have to do, the easier it becomes for their heart to hear true comfort.