Yesterday I was trying to hurry and give my littles snacks. We were heading out on our activities du jour, and it was going to be a while before they’d get to eat again. I served up the last of the brownies and a glass of milk. As I reached across the sink to the counter to place a glass of milk where Cooter was about to sit with his brownie, I turned the whole thing over.
Oh me. But no crying, right?
I was actually calmer than usual, especially considering that we were running behind and needed to be out the door pretty quick. And they still had to have a snack. AND I had to clean up milk for miles–on the counter, under the counter, on the wall under the counter, on the stool, under the stool, on the rungs of the stool, and alllllllll over the floor. While trying to keep Miss Sophie from getting into it and attempting to appease Cooter’s hurt feelings based on the assumption that he would now get NO milk.
As I was cleaning it up, our Princess, the peacemaker (well unless she’s having it out with her brother–been one of THOSE weeks around here), who was trying to grab up anything she could find to help clean it up, said in her soothing voice to her upset brother, “Don’t be upset, buddy, Mama didn’t mean to do that. It’s just sometimes, well, God has other plans.”
Huh. Well then. Huh.
So I went with it. Maybe because I was standing on my head cleaning up milk (did I mention FOR MILES?) or maybe because I was just curious to see where she was going. Probably both.
“So God planned for me to spill this milk?”
Cooter laughed at that idea.
Princess, who had come around to the messy side of the counter, shook her head. “Well no, see, I mean, God knows everything that’s going to happen.”
“So God knew I was going to spill the milk, then?” One swipe, two swipe, almost done. I stood up.
She looked at me, her eyes wide. She sighed. “Why do I think I’m saying it all wrong right now?”
I laughed and hugged her and let her know it was okay. I don’t know, girl, there are no easy answers.
That’s something we talked about on Sunday night in Evening Prayer. Hard questions. And that sometimes, just maybe, we won’t get the answers here. Or now. If ever. And one person pointed out something that my Aunt has suggested to me about Heaven, “Maybe, when we do get there, it won’t matter anymore.” I shudder to think. As much as I want to know the things I want to know, it pains me to think I will be able to let it go so easily. I guess that’s the peace that passes all understanding they talk about though, isn’t it?
Hard questions. From our children. What do we do with those?
I found out that a family that my oldest and I both know and love lost their youngest son, not even two years old, in a tragic accident. I told Aub, unsure if she would see it on social media, and I didn’t want her to find out that way. She was visibly shaken.
“Mama, it’s already been a rough day and now this. This sends me over the edge. My heart breaks for them.”
“I know. I know. Mine too. I’m so sorry. I just didn’t want you to find out another way.”
We were both quiet for a moment.
“You know,” she said. “They packed up everything, sold most of it, and headed out to do what they felt God was calling them to do. And now this? What the heck? It just doesn’t make sense. Why? Why did this happen?”
Why indeed. I had nothing to offer her. But an ear and heart to listen to her questions. And echo them in my own.
I’ve found that my children’s questions don’t get any easier as they get older, and neither do mine. We’ve had some doozies in the past three or four years. And they still remain unanswered.
I got nothing.
Except that I’d rather they stay unanswered than someone give me an answer that they think should make me be okay with everything that has happened.
There are just some things you might have to accept–yes this happened–but there are things that I can never be okay with. Doesn’t mean I lose my faith completely, just maybe it hits a bump in the road and needs time. Lots of time.
Hard questions. How can I be thankful for those?
I guess tonight I’m thankful that my children ask these of me, with me, and that we can sit in the dark together, asking and wondering. But together. Always together.
Love to all.