I hear it often, the “Why, God?” that echoes down hallways and into the nothing where it seems no one hears. I feel it in my own body, the ache that won’t be soothed because the hurt is just too deep. Their pain resonates with me, because I have been there, too.
I think of my own life, those moments when as a trusting little girl I was beaten black and blue, when boys being boys tied me up in bed sheets in the darkened den and swung me around the room, hurling me into wrought iron furniture and laughing uproariously at my terrified screams.
I think back on night after night of waking up in different jails, a familial voice somewhere in the distance and a strange jacket keeping me warm till morning when he was sober and set free to hit the next county and drink, rinse, repeat.
I remember the cold, confused empty in my chest and my longing to die, fumbling with the binding of breasts leaking milk meant for a baby girl who would never taste it because hello meant goodbye.
It would make sense to think back on those days and go ape on God.
But I can’t.
Because but for Him, I wouldn’t be alive. But for Him, I would never have survived to write about these things and humbly word to others the hope that comes through belief in Him. I wouldn’t have made it through any of it or known any of the love or beauty or joy of this life that I have by His grace enjoyed.
So I can’t bring myself to blame Him when He is all that has made life possible for me.
No, I look instead to the day when He who died on that Jerusalem hill for my sake personally wipes every tear from my eyes and there is no more crying or pain and everything makes sense and the hardships of this life are but a vapor blown away by His breath of eternal life.
I know where my help comes from.
I refuse to allow hate and blame to rob me of the beauty of this life. It will be gone before I know it, so I live it gratefully to the full.
I blame the Fall, and I lay it all at His feet pierced through for the sins in the Garden and the jail and the driveway and the den. And in my own fallible human heart.
Because it isn’t blame I feel toward Him. It is a worship that I will never stop offering up to the One Who sustains my every breath and will one day exchange beauty for ashes and restore to me what the locusts of this fallen world have eaten. I can only thank Him for loving me enough to breathe life into me in the first place, knowing that in the end all that matters is being with Him in Glory.
I don’t blame Him because He loved me first and last, and for that I will love Him every moment good or bad.
I lift my eyes up to the hills.