Last night as we put The Chief to bed, we helped him to say his bedtime prayer. Chup whispers in his little ears what to say and The Chief repeats. Well, the last word of it, anyway.
"We're thankful for the fun we had today," prompted Chup.
"Daaay," said The Chief
"Please bless our friends and family." Chup offered.
"Fameee," The Chief repeated.
"Please bless the people in Japan,"
"Japan," The Chief prayed. Earnestly, with his eyes squished closed and his arms folded across his chest.
And it made me think about the business of prayer.
I believe in the mysteries of God as much as I believe in the revealed truths. For every explainable action that seems to come from heaven, there are hundreds more that seem unexplainable, even unfair or unjust. Why would God allow this destruction? Why would He let children suffer? What is the point? These are some of the mysteries that make up the nature of God.
Argued philosophically and theologically since...ever, I think these questions, these mysteries have a purpose. Exploring them, I discover the nature of God. Who He is. And in the process I discover my own. Who I am.
I think the answer is found in not asking these questions about God, but turning the question internally. This destruction happened, what am I going to do? Children are suffering, how will this call me to action? Last night was a poignant moment for us, an opportunity to teach our child charity and concern for people across the world from his safe, turquoise bedroom full of rocket ships and muddy socks.
Our reactions to these actions taking place all over the world is most significant. Resiliency is part of our heritage as humans. It is in our nature to survive--not just major earthquakes, floods or tsunamis, but illness, sadness and heartbreak.
Chup had a line in a movie once. He was playing the part of a Pastor, and a young girl in his congregation had been killed. In the funeral scene, his character was sad, and a little angry. He said (paraphrased:)
"I believe in God. I believe he is real. I also believe in Satan. I believe he is very real. I don't believe that God is going to shield us, and protect us from Satan every moment of every day. That's our job. We have to take care of each other. Shield and protect and take care of each other."
When I turn Why is this happening? into How can I rise above this? How can I help? the mysterious of God are no longer mysteries, but marvels.
Thanks for checking in Cami & Tiffany, we'll continue our prayers--The Chief too.