Monday, December 9, 2013

The Nagging Why

Photo taken by Shakira120

After any kind of tragedy, personal or within the community that is the first question asked. Why so young. Why so many. Why didn't God intervene? Why not a miracle?


I spent many years asking this question. Crying out to God. Talking to therapists and mentors. Journaling until my pen ran dry. Each time disappointment added to the pain in my heart. There was no answer that made the pain go away. Never would an answer bring back what was lost. No answer would heal a relationship.

Photo taken by almogaver
I do not regret that season of Why because it taught me about grieving. In our culture, we don’t allow much time for it. We are expected to get on with it. Often the “encouragement” is to let it go and move on. Traumatic losses are not switches that can be flipped off and on. It isn't simply indigestion of the soul that a burp can relieve. It is a deep cut that needs tending. Ignored it festers into bitterness, resentment and anger. With the proper tending the healing process will be long and leave its mark, but in the end love, joy and health will return.

Part of the healing is a season in the land of Why. It is important because it gets us talking: to God, to others, and ourselves. Sometimes the answers fall flat, others are a soothing salve, but the answers never solve the problem. It is when I came to accept this that the next stage of my healing began.

Photo taken by Schick

How am I going to get through today? How can I share the grace and love I have received in this season of grieving with others? How can I get to know God better?

After suicides, flashbacks, misunderstandings and constant change, How is my focus. It doesn't make it easier, but life is smoother. Whenever my mind visits the Land of Why, I remind myself to focus on the How. There are no answers for me in Why any longer. My energies are better focused in the present moment. How doesn't erase what happened, but it turns it into something to grow from. The scars from the past will never disappear. They aren't meant to. They are part of my character.

In Rick Riordan’s book, The Red Pyramid, Bast-the cat goddess- is asked to heal a battered old tom cat. Bast replies;

 “And take away his marks of honor? A cat’s battle scars are part of his identity.”

Thanks to those few words, I learned that everything I experience makes its mark. Some beautiful others unsightly, but all together my life is lived. My story is told to hopefully encourage and inspire others. 

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