My problem has never been whether there is a God, my problem has always been with, "Does He care about me?"
I was raised in church to believe in God. Some would say I was indoctrinated from birth. I would say, I was taught some very important aspects about the truth that the world refuses to see. In many ways, I refused to see them too, because of the consistency of hypocritical Christians to be awful. When I laid my head down on the tracks, I never thought for a moment that God was not there with me, watching. My thought was that He was laughing at me. Jolly, Santa, laughing at my plight to make a ruined life work. This was my anger. It fueled me to live as long as I did. I wanted to fight against the God that had destroyed me. The truth is...I think....that He did destroy me. He did it. He doesn't cause sin, but allowed it. Why? Because He sees the bigger picture. I did not.
I came to know Jesus the day I realized He cared about me. He really did love me. He really was guiding me and had always been there. I was out of my mind happy and excited to finally know the truth. I served Him with the best of my heart and life. I made horrible mistakes and fumbled around trying to get it right, but I fought so hard against the evils that wanted to take me. I beat my body and made it my slave to glorify God. I dedicated my life to showing a glimpse of Christ to those that were just like me. A kind of kid that I have been a lightening rod to since I started working with teenagers 11 years ago.
Many years later, I found myself battling again. I found myself sitting in the dark in front of a religious icon shouting and shaking my fists at my God. I found myself again, not wondering if God was there, but wondering if He cared at all. How could he let one of the closest people to me...one of the saviors He sent me of my whole life to put himself on a thread. How could He do that? How could He let me lose him? I never believed God to be a God that always keeps bad things from us, but I believed us to be friends. Him to be my Father. I always saw God clearer when I pictured my own son and how I would love him. I would never take away one of the things he loved the most. I would never take away someone so dear to him. This is where I got stuck. I got stuck in pride. I got stuck looking at me and not Will. Will suffered for a long time. Will did love Jesus, but got lost in all of the evils this world shoves down our throats. It is a horrible thing that he did and it had nothing to do with what God wanted him to do, but he isn't suffering anymore. He is with God...happy for once.
Meanwhile I watch his kids falter and stumble and lose everything they have trusted in. I watch their hearts get destroyed and I ask myself again, "Does God even care?" "Does God even CARE!!!!!!????" Do something! Anything!
So I bang on a statue and shout at the devil I have made God to be and weep. I deteriorate. My faith shatters into shards of glass. I believe God is near and my gut tells me I am wrong about Him, but my anger will not let me forgive Him for something He didn't do. This is grief. This is the cycle I went through. I went through all of the predictable stages of grief. I went through denial as I sat stone as I watched his family die at his house just 25 feet from where he was hanging. I experienced anger as I resented what Will had put us all through. I experienced sadness and grief as I really missed my friend. I experienced recovery as I realized my God is not to blame for the actions of anyone. Will did what he did because he is imperfect. God cares. God was far more wrecked than me, or his mom, or his brother and sister, or his wife. I pictured me losing my son the same way God lost His and realized that I get it. I would die inside with no words that could ever express my suffering. I would be in mourning for the rest of my life. It isn't that God doesn't care...it is that He does care. It isn't that He watches us do things eternally painful to Him, it is that He watches the whole world suffer as a Father that is watching his own son writhe in pain. Acceptance. The fourth stage of grief. It is accepting that we cannot control everything. But also that God sees a bigger picture than us. I was sent to the brink...by Will or God or whoever...the point is that God, who cares brought me back again. For that the tears will drop onto smiling lips.
Photo credit to: http://4eyedblonde.deviantart.com
Thanks for reading...Z