I’m not a mom. Not yet, anyway. I can’t pretend I know what pregnancy or childbirth or raising children is like. All I know I have gleaned from the experience of others or I have learned in my years teaching preschool. Even the mountains of information I’ve gleaned leave me feeling painfully inadequate.
But on Friday, I was thankful for that inadequacy. I was grateful for the experience I don’t have, because I don’t even want to think about the pain of a mother losing her child.
I read about the heinous crimes committed in Connecticut on the internet during naptime at work. And like everyone else, I wept. With my class full of three-year-olds sleeping around me, with worship music blaring from the radio to cover up the rustles of naptime, I cried like a little girl.
And I shook my head and I wrung my hands and I dared to shake my fist, to wonder how God could let such a thing happen. Because that’s my response in the face of tragedy, of murder and suicide and cancer and all the other evils that plague this broken world. I wonder aloud, and loudly at that, how God could let this happen.
It’s not fair. I mean, anyone can see that. It’s the opposite of fair. It’s incredibly unjust, outrageously awful. And in the face of something so evil, so absolutely tragic, it’s hard to see where a just and loving God fits in.
But you know what, sister? I think God is big enough to handle our anger, and our tears, and our pleas for mercy and healing. If we chose to bite our tongues, I think He still knows our hearts, and our silence in His direction wouldn’t really be silence at all because He knows our thoughts as well.
My anger didn’t surprise Him. My crushed spirit wasn’t too much for Him to handle. In the face of such brokenness, I don’t think He expects anything different from us, His daughters.
Do I have any right to question Him? Could I, like it says in Job, possibly give God counsel, tell Him how to get things straightened out, how to improve life here on earth? No way. But I also know that when I’m hurt and quiet, those who know me well know what I’m thinking and feeling regardless of my silence. I know that God is no different. I know He isn’t boxed in by my ideas of who He is, nor is He afraid of tearing my box to pieces.
I don’t want to pretend that I understand any of this—the way the world spins faster and faster into blinding darkness—because I don’t want to pretend that I have it all together. I have done my share of crying out, of demanding why, and God has not shied away from it, so I won’t, either.
Still, He is good. Always.
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Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
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