No one can escape the despair and pain that Hurricane Harvey has brought to our land. Modern technology and social platforms force us to see the destruction and brokenness around us that before we could choose to shield our lives from. Images of the elderly in flooded nursing homes awaiting rescue are impossible to forget, and most of us didn't go looking for them.
Last night, my 7 year old daughter asked me, with genuine seriousness and urgency in her voice, "If all these people's homes are being flooded and they are losing all their special things, why doesn't God just stop the storm? I know rain is good to help things grow, but there is no good that comes from this much rain is there?" Her questions hit me with a blow I was not prepared to absorb. But my intention has never been to shield my kids from what's real, but rather to point them to what's true. So we pressed in instead of turning away.
Erin Straza, in her book Comfort Detox, writes:
If I am going to be present with others in their pain, I need to come to terms with the mysteries that God chooses not to resolve. I need to accept that negative capability is here, that it is possible some pains will not be resolved in this life. Faith is needed to trust in spite of what cannot be seen or healed or settled. Am I willing to stand in faith, engaged in the brokenness that is shredding the world, and proclaim that God is still God, even when life doesn't change and hurts refuse to heal?
My desire for myself, and for my children, is that our faith would be strong enough to engage in this brokenness that is shredding the world, whether it be the destruction in the wake of Hurricane Harvey or the destruction in the waves of organized racism, not with answers but with humble hands to hold, and help, and heal. So last night, we wrestled. We thought. We wondered. We chose to trust. And then we prayed for the storm to dissipate and for those affected by it.
May we all be willing to feel the full weight of what can't be explained away, drawing away from our own comfort and near to other's pain.
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