Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Place of the Why

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” -Matthew 27:46

She left me quietly while I was hoping and dreaming of her future. The olive trees were heavy with snowy white blooms, and the thorny lemon tree flowered in our walled garden, filling it with heady, sweet fragrance. Life emerged all around me, and I celebrated, not knowing life had slipped away.

When we learned our baby had died, I withdrew to my room alone with God and wept. The only passage I could seem to see was one simple word from Matthew 27:46, WHY? It leapt off the page at me as if added only then for this present pain. 

In those ten days of solitude and mourning I felt Christ compelling me to shout, to scream, to demand with all my anguish, why?????

I had supposed before the searing loss of my daughter that really good Christians aren't allowed to ask why. It was somehow forbidden, faithless.

I was completely mistaken.

Since that time, I have come to understand that the Place of the Why in each of our lives is a necessary passageway to Resurrection Morning. It is a narrow footpath that leads those who will take it to a place of New Life, of impossible life, rising out of the death of hopes and dreams.

We seldom hear an Easter sermon probing the darkness of the question Why. It is the question our Savior asked in His moment of agony on the Cross. It is the question we all ask in our agony, though some would stifle it, reason it away, stuff it deep into the recesses of fear and denial. It is the Great Why, and it is a requisite doorway to enter the Life of Resurrection morning.

Our human need for comfort and our avoidance of conflict drives us to focus on Easter Bunnies, Daffodils and Happiness. For those who are hurting this Easter, however, there remains an unanswered question, suffocating them in the midnight of their pain and deafening them in the silence of their suffering. We are not talking about it enough. 

But Christ gave us permission to ask the question in his final moments on Calvary, before He accomplished the victory we all are longing for.

Matthew 27 reads like a high-speed chase, one which we watch anxiously with dread in our guts, knowing it will inevitably end in a fatal collision. We feel the anguish as Judas realizes he has committed a grave and devastating sin, and hangs himself in despair. 

We bite our nails as the life-giving Jesus stands before governors and is traded for a murderer. We cringe as the soldiers mock him, spit on him, and fight over his clothes.  

Then to our horror, it is done, He is hung upon rough wood, exposed, vulnerable, dying. And the collision of suffering God in human flesh and breathless Silence in His heaven resounds with a crashing, baffling cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The legalistic order of things has forever changed. God has given permission to Man to ask why.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

We are not privy to the moments that follow to any audible or visible answer to His agonizing question. It would appear that God remained silent.

And for many of us, in our Place of the Why, it would appear that God remains silent.

Are you in the silent Place of the Why this Easter season?

If you are, brave one, heaven waits expectantly, to know if you will trust Him even here.

Your Savior stands near you, and He understands your pain and your questioning.

Just beyond this place a short distance is a broad and beautiful land, a place where faith has grown beyond the borders of answers and knowledge.  It blooms beautifully in the light of a child who would trust not only the Father she understands, but the one she does not. And there is much rest of soul in that.

Look up, broken heart. In this place new life is rising, Resurrection morning.

Break the silence and share your story with me.


As He suffered, Christ gave us permission to ask the question why. (Click to Tweet)

1 comment:

  1. I am asking God why. I think I am hearing trust and patience. And even though I am uncertain of what God wants me to do, I know in my heart I need to trust God to bring resolution to me and to be patient.