There have been days when I thought God was dead. Thought he’d abandoned me in my moments of despair. During most of these moments I was enduring the earthly consequences of our own bad choices.
It comes down to this:
We fought when we should have surrendered.
We surrendered when we should have kept fighting.
We chased a dream when we should have stayed put.
We stayed put when we should have kept running.
We were silent when we should have spoken.
We spoke when we should have shut up.
We spent when we should have saved.
We saved when we should have spent.
We lied when we should have been honest.
And, we were only honest when it served our ego.
Essentially, we hoarded our love and resources.
Essentially, we cast our pearls to swine.
We have all done so many things wrong.
And, now we allow ourselves to wonder
if God is dead or alive,
and if He’s not dead why has He abandoned us?
it’s probably the other way around,
but either way, God understands how we feel.
I’m sure of it.
Where is God?
Today, God was sitting at the foot of my stairs, right there with Sully and Bridgy. I heard His Holy Spirit come tumbling out in the gentle words of my son, the tender song of my daughter. He was in the prayers my mother said she prayed for me today, and He was in the phone call from my brother. He was in an email from a reporter and in a favor from an old friend.
I remember this one day, more than 10 years ago. It was the loneliest day of my life. It was Mother’s Day 1999. I was a single mom with a little girl who wasn’t even two yet. I sat outside in our front yard under the sweet gum tree, the one that turned brilliant yellow every fall. Juliette was wearing floaties and playing in a tiny, little pool. I remember praying to God to please send someone by that day to visit me and wish me a Happy Mother’s Day – even a stranger to wave to me from a car.
You know how your insurance agent always sends you birthday cards and you throw them right away? Well, that year, I learned how much those form cards can mean to someone – some old person who has nobody – or some single mom who has entered a number of new paradigms – married friends left behind – new friends not yet made.
Nobody drove by my house that day. Dear God, nobody. I stayed outside for THREE HOURS. I never knew how quiet that street was until I got divorced. And, this is how I know God is not dead and will never be dead. He allowed me to go through that desperation, so that I would not only seek Him, but so that I would also become someone who would one day respond to the nudge of His Holy Spirit, get in my car and drive by the house of someone I do not know and call from the street as I drive by, unafraid and not worried how stupid I might look:
Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy!
In the City of David a Saviour was born 2,000 years ago.
It is Christ the Lord, and as such
God is with you.
And, that’s where God is wherever you are.