As I sit here, waiting and pondering. I think to myself “Why do things have to be this way?”
Part of the human condition I suppose is that musing and being blindly aware that there are just some things, no matter how hard you try, that are simply out of your control.
The news you lost your job. The news that your loved one has cancer. The news that a friend has died. (Yes, all of these things have affected me this past year. And probably some of you all as well.)
You didn’t ask for these things to happen and, hell, you probably fought the windmill called “free will” to determine that your life would not face these obstacles.
And you fight, and fight, and fight some more: hellbound and blastedly determined that you will control your destiny/fate/future... and yet the struggle still happens. The death still occurs. The loss is still palatable.
So you sit and wonder what the f**k just happened.
What did you do wrong and what god did you piss off to make all of this calamity befall you?
The answer, most times, is...
I’m reminded of a saying in the Christian Scriptures that “god is no respecter of persons.” What this means to me is that there is no distinguishing characteristic: whether you are rich or poor, black or white, educated or illiterate, naitive or foreign... that gains you more favor or blessing than another in the eyes of god.
As far as god is concerned, you are no more worthy of blessing than the next person. You are no more worthy of wealth, or popularity, or influence than the next person. And by god you are no more worthy to be excluded from adversity than the next person.
A relationship with god does not create a transactional relationship that is quid pro quo. As a hospice chaplain and bereavement coordinator I know for a fact that death doesn’t care if you had a multimillion dollar hedge fund or if you were homeless in a tent; one day no matter what you do: you will die. And that is that. As a former pastor, I have learned that no amount of piety or devotion to god removes you from the real chance you will experience pain and suffering.
The idea of god as a force that permeates all things should give us pause...
Because god is everything and everywhere. God is with those who suffer along with those who are well. God bears witness to those things that are good, bad and ugly even when we want to turn a blind eye. God makes itself known even when you choose to reject or ignore its presence.
And for me, that reality might not be enough; especially when I am stubbornly obsessed with wanting answers: even those I know I’m not entitled to.
But it has to be enough.
That’s the reality of the unknown.
That reality is unknown.
But at the same time we are known by god, and god is bearing witness to our lives every day.