The woman who did not love God
(Written September 15, 2015)
"I don’t love God" the woman informed me. "All my life I have suffered, been abused, abandoned and now the only love of my life is gone". She started to cry and then looked at me and said “why me?”, then she became so quiet that it worried me.
“Why are you here” I responded. “If you are seeking an easy answer I can’t give it to you. Just because I am a monk I don’t have some sort of elevated answer to the awful tragedies that people go through. I have not met anyone who has been spared the vagaries of life; it seems that everything turns on a dime”.
I then decided to say something to her, though it was an act of faith to do so. So I said that “in the Christian faith, the term ‘Christ with us”, or that “God tabernacles with us” is a way of seeking to understand this crazy world we live in. Also “Christ died for us”. I asked her if she ever spent much time pondering the life and death of Jesus. She told me that she is not that religious. So I responded: “In the Christian faith, God is not outside somewhere watching us, no, he is within, and when you read about his sufferings and death it can help you understand your own life and sufferings. It is not a fix, this understanding, but it can give a place for you to stand from”.
“God suffers with me?” she asked with some awe. “Christ took up your life and death, the life and death of your loved ones, experienced it and brings it into his resurrection”. “I don’t understand” she replied. “I don’t’ either,” I said, “however to ponder upon this mystery has a way of leading to some sort of peace with the way life is. For one thing, I have come to recognize. We comprehend fear, punishment, and betrayal, and being abandoned. What is more difficult to grasp is infinite love as it is shown in Christ Jesus. In seeking to understand this love, your own love of Christ Jesus will deepen, and while your pain will not go away, and even your anger, something else will be there, the seed of grace and the working of the Holy Spirit in your life.
I held my breath after saying this, but it seemed to help her in some way. She sat for a minute or two, silent, but this time it was a different sort f silence. She looked up, thanked me, and left.-Br.MD