Tuesday, August 07, 2012
loss of innocence
but after a while i asked how she was doing. her young marriage has been disintegrating for almost a year now. she has done everything possible to save it and make things work, but it seems that there might be very little left she can do. it's the most painful thing i can imagine going through, especially when she seems to be at no fault of her own (and i have no reason to suspect otherwise.) near the end of our conversation, she said, "i would never wish this experience on you or anyone."
it wasn't the first time i've had a friend say that to me.
while i was making dinner this evening, i thought about that. i know some people who would say that their lives have turned out better than they'd ever hoped and i have good friends who, while they have had their share of trials, have had things turn out pretty well for them. and i have other friends who seem to have gone through a lifetime's worth of hurt and disappointment, despite still having many years left to go.
as i was looking for wherever my new roommate put the colander, i thought of how there's that time when everything seems to be falling apart so horribly in your life that it can't possibly be happening. that you just know that now the angel has to come and stop the knife.
and then you realize that the angel doesn't always come.
that can be very difficult. it's one thing to have made dumb choices and to realize that they've led you to a bad spot. but when you've done everything right and been faithful and good and the unthinkable still happens to you, what then? what do you do when you find out that living faithfully, even valiantly, doesn't mean that you'll be protected from excruciating hurt?
the line that stood out to me the most from april's general conference was president eyring's sharing an exclamation of his friend: "when i have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?"
pouring the hot water out of the pot, i was thinking that this was beginning to sound like a very jaded and grizzled view of life: "God doesn't always come. deal with it." and you can look at it like that. it can be easy to fall into that.
but while we like to tell the story of the red sea parting as moses walked into the water, or the sun setting but the night not getting dark just before the believers were to be put to death, theirs aren't the only experiences in the scriptures.
one of my favorite scripture stories is that of shadrach, meshach, and abed-nego. and while, yeah, they were delivered, that was actually irrelevant. "but if not," they said.
sometimes really horrible things happen and there's no one there to stop them. that doesn't mean we've done anything wrong or that we deserve it or that God is ignoring us. it's just how things go sometimes. and it really rots, but it's ok.