Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

18Jun/101

Tragic Death, Saying Goodbye, Questioning God…

Tomorrow we'll spend a few hours huddled in a small sanctuary with family and friends, memorializing and saying goodbye to my 16 year old cousin: the victim of a motorcycle accident that claimed his life in a matter of hours, earlier this week.

The events are still so sudden that they seem unreal for everyone, especially for his mother and father. It's hard to grasp, and hard to justify the way a life so young can end so suddenly in our modern world. Worse yet, it's difficult for me to see how we can say goodbye to such a special person in a number of hours...it seems that we should spend days processing this and comforting one another.

During this time of thoughts and questions, I am surprised to see the relevance of my studies: I've been translating the book of Ruth this month, a book where a mother looses her husband and two sons. Naomi's reaction is nothing short of ours: she's bitter, and she blames God for making her that way. It's situations like this that I believe God is ok with our anger...and he's ok with us expressing that anger. The important thing is that we keep our lives open to His response. We cannot shut ourselves off to His voice. He is secure enough not to be angry in response. He will reassure us of His kindness, His trustworthyness, and His love until we see Him again.

Times like these remind me of one favorite song, which I'll share with you in video and in lyrics:

Wilderness: The Supertones

Click Here for Lyrics
Supertones – Wilderness Lyrics

The rain falls on the righteous and the wicked
Mine is not to reason why this is
In this I rest in this I find my refuge
That my thoughts and ways are not His
I spend my life on looking up the answers
It's rare that I can't find a reason why
But reasons fail at children without mothers
His plan is more than I can know…

Have you ever held in doubt
What this life is all about?
Have you questioned all these things that seem important to us?
Do you really wanna know
Or are you a little scared…
You're afraid that God is not exactly what you'd had Him be
What should I hold to
and what should I do?
How do I know if anything's true?
I'm somewhere in-between Canaan and Egypt
A place called the wilderness

I'm not one who always trusts their feelings
I don't believe in what you'd call blind faith
But faith that you can do all that you promised
And you said it all works for good
It's safe to say I don't see the big picture
I can't see the forest for the trees
And if five hundred lives
Were mine to get to know
You all could be spent on just this…

(bridge)

God do you really understand what it's like to be a man?
Have You ever felt the weight of loving all the things you Hate?
Have You struggled?
Have You worried?
How can You sympathize?

I have spoken much too soon put my hand over my mouth
I can't contend with You
Your ways are so much higher
And we pass through the fire that Christ endured before us
When You were in the wilderness

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