Late Night Theology (Alternate Title - “Will This Make Sense In The Morning?”
This God stuff is a pain in the butt to work through.
I have noticed over the years that my theology has changed. I don’t think that is a bad thing. I think as we learn, we grow. As we mature, we realize that what we once thought was a cornerstone of salvation may just be a sidenote. Things we may have once been pretty much willing to fight to the death for become things you’re willing to just wait and find out once you’re in heaven with the person you disagree with. (Doesn’t stop you from imagining saying, “Haha! Told ya!” though does it?)
Anyway. The devastating event of losing Rory has forced me to once again contemplate my theology. What do I believe? What can I still believe? What is still true?
There are things that are concrete for me. God is God. God is love. God loves me. I am saved. The Trinity. Heaven.
These things are black and white for me. Other things may be a grey area, and heck, some areas are flippin’ rainbows, but I am grounded enough to know that circumstances, no matter how horrific, do not change who God is.
I’m still not pretending things are all hunky dory between God and I. Truth be told, I’m in a dark place right now. I suppose I have started talking to God. If you can call accusations, tears, questions, and simply asking, “How could You?” conversations.
But my faith is still in tact. I wouldn’t have anyone to be mad at if it weren’t. I still believe God will make it right one day. I do not believe that day will be on earth. I know it won’t be.
I think sometimes living in Western Civilization our theories get a little skewed. Our expectations of a good life are pretty high. When things go wrong we immediately want to say, “Well God has a plan!” or “This has a purpose!” or “This must be God’s will!” or something equally droll and infuriating.
What is it with us needing to think everything on this earth has a purpose? Didn’t God kinda hand over the reigns to Satan? Evil is allowed in this world. God created a perfect world, sin screwed it up and yes, Jesus came and created a way to make it right (one day) but the world is still screwed up.
I know we want to cling to that verse in Jeremiah about God having good plans and a purpose for us like a drowning man clings to driftwood, but I don’t know. Either that verse is misinterpreted, misdirected, or it is pointed to the life after this one. Because guess what? Good plans don’t involve your baby dying. Rory’s future was stolen. All the hope in the world didn’t save her. Rory being gone is not God’s perfect, good will. Bad things are allowed to happen in this world. I don’t believe God is orchestrating them. I do know sometimes he intervenes miraculously. I am also too well aware sometimes He doesn’t. I don’t know the rhyme or reason. I don’t know the formula. I doubt there is one. I do believe it makes sense to God, and whatever is left undone on this earth will be made right in Heaven.
I do know beauty can, and often does, come from ashes. But there are still ashes. I guess what I’m trying to say is, God’s ability to make good come from the bad does not make the bad, good.
Rory dying is a terrible thing. I imagine God was weeping with me. I don’t know why He didn’t stop it from happening. I know He could have. But I guess He had His reasons. But see, I don’t see His reasons as the same as His plan. I can’t imagine Him sitting up in Heaven, writing my Life Book and being all, “Oh, I know! How about we let her baby die and see what she does!”
No. But I do think that Satan has some say. He has some freedom. Maybe God isn’t the only one allowed to write in my Life Book. Maybe because of sin, Satan has some say in the evil that touches me. Or maybe it’s not even Satan himself, but just the course of sin ruining the world. Maybe the Consequence of Sin gets to write a few pages. And then God does some tearful rewrites and brings those beautiful things from those heartbreaking ashes and whispers, “I’m going to make this right in the end, child. Trust me.”
Maybe all the promises in the Bible about a good life aren’t talking about this life. Maybe it’s the privileged, less-common-than-we-think way of life we live that makes us think God is going to protect us from all the bad things, or at least most of them. But maybe the promises we try to cling to aren’t about now.
Sometimes trying to piece together my theology is like trying to do a 100 piece puzzle while only having eight pieces.
I guess in conclusion I can say I believe in the promises of the Bible. I just don’t necessarily believe I had the timeline down quite right. I believe God could have healed Rory, I know He didn’t, and I believe in Heaven I won’t even care about the why and why nots. Everything will be right and perfect. I believe we live in a broken, sinful world that spun off the right track before it had barely begun and will never spin back again. I believe I live in a little spot of the world that often forgets that.
I guess, right now I believe that God has to let sin run its course. I won’t pretend that I get why sometimes He intervenes and sometimes He doesn’t and that’s where the whole anger issue comes in. But truly, I do believe it’s His love for us that compels Him to reach down and do some damage control. I can’t wait to see the beauty that rises from these ashes.
Disclaimer: I apologize if none of this made sense. This is what you get when you try to follow the theorizing, theological brainwaves of a grieving mother. Interesting, no?