Sunday, January 30, 2011


I remember today. I buried my mother at the exact time the space shuttle Challenger exploded. It was my first burial as a priest. As I returned to the office, the church staff was turning on the television, having been called by numerous parishioners.


Some days, there is more pain that one can bear. Some days, burying a too-young mom and watching the death of men and woman who were devoted to their work and died while doing that work, make little sense.


I have God for the days that hurt and make little sense. I wonder how others get through without God. Now God does not take away all the hurt. That would make the relationships with others superficial. And God does not give a grand explanation for how this pain fits in the bigger scheme of things. Mostly, God sits (does God "sit?") there, sharing my pain and assuring me that he has a plan (which he revises minute by minute as we create new hurdles) and it ends well.


I can stress and feel hopeless. I would not be human if I didn't do a bit of that. But, with God, I do not have that overwhelm me. I tried trusting in myself to figure things out. It was a grand failure. I am too puny.


I have to put my trust somewhere. God seems to make a tangible difference, even when God is "present" to my pain but not "fixing" it.


I thank God that he has chosen me to be his child. Like a child, I do not understand the big things and they scare me some. With God, I am okay with that. God's presence is robust and comforting.

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