I guess I still believe that the brighter moments of life outweigh the numerous times where the haze lingers. But there are times where that’s hardly believable; like no matter how much you wash the dead bugs off the windshield they still obstruct your view or how much the weather man says “tomorrow will be sunny and warm” it still feels like its rainy and cold.
When we were children the world was so much brighter. Faith, in all facets, was so much easier to uphold than it is now.
I recently learned that I hate the fact that all of life can be taken away in an instant. Every thing I’ve accomplished, all that I wish to accomplish. All my dreams, all my plans and all the things I look forward to. All the little moments that make us smile: they can all be taken away in an instant.
This was hardly a reality for me until I saw her lying in a coffin, lifeless; staring at her, I waited for her to sit up, to talk to me, to talk to us, just….talk.
But she didn’t.
She just laid there.
And that was all.
Four nights prior I remember trying to pray in the hospital, even though I didn’t know what to say. My prayer felt fake, inadequate, lacking eloquence. I was like a child begging his dad in the toy store. I was begging God to work a miracle, to keep her here on earth, to continue living her life with her husband; a life of being a good friend, a good sister, a good daughter, a good social worker. I just knew it was possible…
I cried so much at the hospital I left the hospital thinking I had no tears left to cry—but they still flowed. I knew it was bad and at this point virtually impossible for her to survive. But I still had some tiny grain of hope that there would be a miracle and she would heal and live and that she, her husband, and I could go out to dinner again, laugh, and talk about old times and discuss the future as we had done two nights before.
I tried to go to sleep but I kept replaying the last time I saw her, racking my brain trying to remember the conversations. I begged some more “God do what is impossible” and it played in my head like this: The machines start beeping frantically; doctors rush in and stabilize her, calm her down because she’s scared, but okay. The doctors simply exclaim “It’s a miracle!” and life continues.
But the opposite happened.
The next morning I got a text message.
The doctors never found a miracle.
And standing in the rain beside my car I felt like my chest was caving in. My throat felt dramatically swollen from the lump you get when you’re about to cry. Along with the rain streaming down the side of my car, my tears once again streamed down my face. And there I stood in a big city surrounded by thousands of people but never feeling so lonely.
I worried about my friend- her husband- and how he was coping and how he would cope in the coming days. And about how her parents and brother and sister would deal with her death.
I went to the funeral and watched hundreds of people cry. I watched my friends, her husband and her brother in law mourn.
And rage filled my heart: “Why is this happening to them?” I thought.
Even now, I sit in church and hear how great God is and how He delivers us from danger and how people arrive safe because God kept them safe on the highway, and I ask—”well where was He that night?”
I try not to be one of those people who blame all the bad stuff in the world on God. But It’s an easy thing to do and understandable to say the least. And I know being mad at God doesn’t make as much sense as being mad at the jack-ass truck-driver who wasn’t paying attention to the traffic stopped in front of him.
But I still have no idea where God was that night or what He thought when witnessing 10 cars being bulldozed by a semi. Or what He thought when seeing the hundreds probably thousands of people cry at hospitals, visitations, funerals or when they saw it on the news. Or what He feels when larger scale disasters happen; earthquakes, hurricanes, wars etc.
All I know is that I still hurt when thinking about my friend. And I know that for me, one who relies heavily on his faith, it’s hard for me to completely abandon God or deny His existence even in moments where He seems so far away.
But it is certainly easy to quit caring about Him.
It’s in these moments where I (we) find ways to fill that void. And easiest when I’m certain that no one will ever find out how I feel that void. And how I feel like there was no other way to cope and no one was there to merely listen to me scream and cuss and confess all my weird, dark, cynical or screwed up thoughts. So I tell myself “it’s okay that I screwed up.”
And the encouraging words I do hear: “Just persevere through the bad…hang in there…great is your reward in heaven…Etc. etc.” are all meant for good, but…
Maybe I’m depressed. I hate that term because people who are depressed shove pills in their mouth to make themselves feel better. Maybe I’m just angry, but losing my temper hasn’t gotten rid of any anger either. Maybe I need a vacation but I have no money to go anywhere.
Maybe I just need to reconnect with God? And when I do reacquaint with him, then what? I wait? Wait for heaven to come along?
Tell me, What do I do in the meantime?
Sleep? Eat? Laugh? Cry? Work? Run? Play? Cook? Clean? Build? Jump rope? Surf? Bake?
I mean, why do anything on earth if I can be taken away in an instant?
Because there are so many times where life seems dull and God seems way off in the distance and every time I call him all I get is His voicemail.
And I see people react to Him like he’s a Bon-Jovi, raising their hands in His honor and shaking their bodies as they worship him; all that does is make me feel even more careless.
But even though presently, I have such a vast amount of negativity towards faith and all that it entails; and how unfair it seems to feel like all that I’ve done and want to do can vanish in a split second; I still can’t quite rid my brain of the thought of heaven.
I have no idea what heaven is like or what we’ll do there. The Bible speaks on it but not in great detail like I want. What I do know is that I hope we know each other because it’ll suck having to meet all those new people…
I also hope my family is there with me; that we can all laugh there as much as we do when we gather at the holidays or when we go out to dinner together.
I hope that all the kids from the Boys and Girls club make their way there too; because I really do miss them.
I hope that we play softball there and that I can run even faster than I run here.
I hope all my high-school friends and all my college friends can finally get together and play a big game of VBT and never, ever, stop laughing.
And…I also hope that my wife, whoever she may be, is there and that we can still have some awesome sex…
As I conclude my rant, I must say that life makes no sense sometimes. But it also makes no sense to believe that all the garbage we face in this life, is all that we have to look forward to.
Because if this is it; if this is true joy, if this is euphoria; it’s one giant disappointment…
To be continued…