Have you ever lain awake at night listening to your little brother cough and heave and cry in pain? He can’t keep anything down, and you don’t know why. And worse yet, there’s nothing you can do to help him.
Do you know what that’s like, God? To be completely helpless?
What else can I do but cry out to You . . . beg You to take his pain, give him peace, restore his health?
And then, the painful heaving stills . . . the crying subsides . . . the house goes quiet. . . .
And then, another painful, guttural cry tears up the almost-tranquility. Another choke, another heave, another bout of vomiting. And the sound is enough to rip your heart from your chest. And after countless rounds and eternal hours, the only words left to cry are, “God, why won’t you heal him?”
Do you know what that’s like, God? To feel the pain of the innocent?
Do you know what it is to doubt, to question, to lose faith? To feel betrayed by the only one who can help?
I hope You’ve felt anger, pain, betrayal . . . because without these, love, joy and trust mean nothing.
I tell myself You doubted in the days of Noah, when You wept over humanity and asked yourself why You ever created these miserable creatures.
I wonder if You feel helpless every time someone uses Your gift of free will against You.
I’d like to think You know suffering because You created it.
But when the daylight comes, the sickness flees, and I see my brother smiling again, I can’t defend You. I still wonder why. Why didn’t you heal him sooner? Why would You allow such suffering at all?
I can’t defend You, but You hardly need my defense. You are God. That won’t stop me from asking why, from growing angry at Your silence. But You are God, and ultimately, I guess, that is the reason why.