There once was a storybook that was my life. I was the main character and God was the author–the ultimate plot-master who had my best interests always in the forefront of His mind.
So I convinced myself (actually mainstream Christianity convinced me–I just listened) that God had it all worked out in the end; that we might not understand everything that happened in life, but it was all for the best.
In that storyline, pain and suffering was nothing more than a twist in the plot…something to be endured for the purpose of either character development or somehow the amusement of the author.
I even learned the word “Omniscience”, and took some comfort in the knowledge that even though I couldn’t understand cancer or early death or natural disasters, God had some higher purpose to which I was blind. After all I was just the character, not the author.
Armed with that worldview, I could rest in the fact that life had meaning–that everything that happened was somehow part of this thing called “God’s plan”.
It’s kind of a comforting thought, that God is in control and knows what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow morning and whether or not it will give me gas.
But it just doesn’t hold up when a baby dies. It just doesn’t matter when a young, defenseless life is denied its chance.
It just doesn’t help in times of crisis. So I have to wonder…
Maybe this whole big ball of creation that God set in motion–maybe it’s just some kind of stage for a cosmic dance between life and death…or hope and fear…darkness and light.
Maybe all of this that we experience on the surface every day is really some kind of deeper conspiracy that we can’t understand.
Maybe the real actors in God’s creation story that is still unfolding–maybe the real actors are unseen. Maybe there is a very real and present thing called ‘evil’–and maybe it takes life where God never intended life to be taken.
Maybe God weeps even more than we do when that child dies–because maybe God’s grief is an entire creation’s worth bigger than ours. He has to cope with all the children who die in war–children He knows by name and has crafted by hand in that intimate place.
He has to cope with all those children who die because they can’t eat enough, or drink clean water…all those children He loves as His own–all those children who have children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren; for we are all children, no matter how grown-up our mistakes might seem.
So instead of a storybook, maybe life is more like a stage for this beautiful and often horrifying, cosmic dance that is deeper than we are.
And maybe God is weeping with us.