The Storm

by arianne

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I sit on our new outdoor furniture and watch from our huge porch as the rain pounds down.  The storm beats the ground, beats our house, our family.

I watch in awe.

It just keeps coming.

I’m thinking of a quote from Holley Gerth’s book Rain on Me where she reminds us that in the trials of life

“Sometimes the storms don’t stop…Sometimes it just keeps raining.”

I look over and see my two year old niece, and my sister holding my 4 week old nephew.  They are in town for a short visit before settling into their new home across the country.  It’s my first time meeting my new nephew. I thought it would be wonderful to hold him, since I ache daily for Mabel’s tiny arms and legs.  I miss her smell, I miss her everything.

And it was wonderful and also terrifyingly painful. I didn’t expect it to be so hard.

The rain keeps coming.

The kids all play on the porch despite the storm, they laugh and love and run.  The boys hold their nephew and can’t help but think of Mabel.

“I wish our baby Mabel hadn’t died, she would be little and cute like he is.  And we really need a girl around here.”


Cousins

I am proud and in love and heartbroken by their words and their remembrance.

The storm barrels on.

I hold baby enough, but not too much, husband holds him too and makes him smile.  We smell his baby head and hold his baby hands.  We cry together as we miss and we love.

The rain never lets up.

I ricochet back to the “why God” questions, asking them yet again.  They feel silly, indulgent almost, yet so needed sometimes.  I give you truth here, and the truth is I still ask those questions.  Sometimes.

The storm lingers.

Holley also quotes C.S. Lewis in her book, from his book A Grief Observed, where he talks about these “why” questions

“When I lay these questions before God, I get no answer.  But rather a special sort of ‘No answer.’  It is not the locked door.  It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze.  As though He shook His head not in refusal but in waiving the question.  Like, “Peace, child; you don’t understand.”

When I lay the questions down, I get the “Peace, child; you don’t understand” too, but I also hear another type of answer.  An answer to a different question perhaps.  Here’s how the conversation goes:

Why God, why did You allow her to be taken away from me?  Why give her to me just to take her away?

Because you can reach people with your pain.

I thought I already had enough pain to share.

Will you not do it for Me? You will die for Me, will you not endure this for Me?

{peace descends as I see Truth}

Yes I will do it for You. I will endure for You.


Lest you think I am especially brave or strong — I am not.  I have to revisit this conversation frequently.  My own depravity sends me back there, my faith wavering and searching for the Cross to prop it back up.

I am only strong when God gives me the strength.  When I humble myself enough to ask for it.  You can ask for it too.

When I get unanswerable “why” questions from my children, all I can tell them is that it will be ok.  Because God promises us it will.  It’s our Hope.  I feel their stiff and tearful bodies soften in my embrace and know that they know Truth.  I soften and I know it too.

These ravines were not meant to be there, our hearts were not created to withstand spears of pain and suffering being stabbed into them creating giant soul-crevices, soul-canyons for emptiness and darkness.  But they are.  How do we endure?

The Good fills those spaces, fills to overflowing if we let Him.  The rain and the storm can fill the spaces, and yes God I will let them.

Even when the storm keeps coming.

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