Do you ever ask “why”? Why did something happen, why did I do that, why did he say that? Why? Around the age of two everyone seems to learn this word, and we never really give up using it. But over the years, our questions become more complicated. “Why can’t I have a cookie before dinner?” turns into “why do bad things happen to good people?” and “why do we have to suffer?”
The thing is, now that we’re not two anymore, our great big “whys” don’t usually have a clear answer. And we learn to say “I don’t know” just as often. I don’t know why. I don’t know why she said that, or he did that, or I felt that. I don’t know why awful people live to be 92 and wonderful people die from minor complications at 30. It doesn’t make sense and I don’t know why. If you’re like me, you don’t like not knowing why. It makes you uncomfortable to realize just how little you know, and how little you control your surroundings.
But that’s ok.
It’s ok not to know why. It’s ok not to have every answer. Sometimes, “I don’t know” it the best we got. But I believe that Jesus gives purpose to our I-don’t-know moments. I think in some weird way, they’re beautiful, because we’re reminded this story is bigger than we are. Because what if you did have all the answers? What if you personally had to give an account for every bad and terrible thing that happened? I can’t imagine that level of pressure – I don’t want it. My “I don’t know” is saying “I’m small and fragile, and there are things I don’t understand. But it’s ok, because he does.” It’s a final reach beyond ourselves, when we’re at the end of our rope. It’s a surrender of our perception of control to the one who actually has control.
This post is dedicated to my wonderful cousin Adam. I don’t know why you’re in the hospital with brain cancer right now. But that’s ok, I love you and we’re all praying. Keep fighting.