The other day myself and the three kids were out driving and as we approached a car wash the kids erupted in the back "Wash Car Dad! Wash Car!" Just so you know the kids have always called it "Wash Car" and we just never really corrected them, so it is still "Wash Car". So I pulled in and they were very excited. Windows up, doors shut for the Supreme $9 wash. All was well, except with Jacob my nearly 2 year old. He was tentative as we entered the wash car...I mean car wash, and as soon as the soap covered all the windows, the cautious look on his face, was replaced by a sad face, which then went to a crying face filled with sheer terror. We are only 20 seconds into the car wash!
No matter what I did to try and calm him or distract him, he wasn't buying it. Tears were streaming down his face as his brother and sister tried to consol him. He then started to say with his very limited vocabulary "All done, All done" over and over again, trying to will this evil from continuing, to end his personal apocalypse. It was heartbreaking but there was nothing I could do. It was also the first time I had ever heard him say those two words together, so I knew he was serious. If I would have captured this with my phone I could have gone viral.
He only stopped when the windshield cleared and he could see outside, then he just said one word, "Go!". He wanted out of there more than Andy Dufrane wanted out of Shawshank!
As we drove away I began to reflect on the last ten months of my life and all of the suffering and pain that has invaded it. I am still not sure what it has taught me except that I knew nothing about real pain and suffering until this time. I had been around it for so many years as a pastor but somehow felt shielded or seperated from it like I had miraculously managed to walk between those raindrops.
Suffering really makes no sense to me, and has at times left my faith as dry as a piece of bread left in the sun. Yet I keep crawling back to that same faith, that same God looking for answers. Many people have done this in history, searching for an answer to what I believe is a question that nobody has really ever truly answered and probably never will. Talk to Job, see if he was satisfied with what he got or many of the people I have walked with thru tradgedies and heartbreak.
C.S Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed:
"Meanwhile, where is God? . . . When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him . . . if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels — welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become . . ."
I could throw scripture out at this moment, because I'm a pastor and isn't that what we are supposed to do? End this post with some piece of Biblical wisdom that will wrap a nice bow around the pile of garbage. I could try to turn this season of suffering into something that fits into a nice flowery Hallmark card or an annoying refrigerator magnet or give you some theology of this broken world that makes it all logical.
But I won't, I will just say "All Done, All Done."