I am a firm believer that God is big enough to handle all of our questions. All of our doubts. All of our emotions.
And that any kind of communication with God is better than no communication.
I have been a Christian for a long time. I’ve heard a lot of sermons, read a lot of books.
And the truth is, when bad things happen to good people (though I know all the “right” things to say) the question that always bubbles to the surface is why.
In John 9, Jesus and his disciples happened upon a blind man, a beggar.
Why? The disciples asked.
Why is this man blind? Or, maybe, why is he mooching off those of us with real jobs? Did he sin? Was it his parents?
Their why was demanding, accusatory.
They were looking for a cause.
Jesus was less concerned with the cause (though he made a point to let his disciples know that it was neither the man’s sin nor his parents’).
Jesus answered the why question with an eye toward purpose.
Why is this man blind? So that the work of God may be displayed in his life.
Cause is they why of the past. The why that can’t be changed. The why of chromosomal abnormalities, of horrible wasting diseases, of innocence lost, of senseless tragedy.
Purpose is the why of the present and the future. The why with restorative power.
Why? So that God’s work can be displayed.
Through miraculous, sudden healing.
Or through learning to live without it.
The most beautiful people I know are not the ones who refuse to ask.
The ones who pretend that everything is ok.
The most beautiful people I know are the brave ones. The broken ones. The real ones. The ones who question and feel and press into the why seeking purpose.
The most beautiful ones, along with our blind man, are the ones who emerge from the trial with hard-earned stories of grace and faithfulness.