Letters to God: II. Heartache

Dear God,
Why did you leave her a widow, when you say you care about widows so much? And the sisters, without a father – when you care about the fatherless? How is that taking care of them? When we sang “be still my soul, the hour is hastening on, when we shall be forever with the Lord,” a hymn that already reminded me of past unsurety and would one day remind me of leaving the place most dear to me and quell fears in so many areas – we sang it and the wife and the daughter were behind me. And I could hear her young voice, asking. And again I had to wonder why, and kept wondering as we gathered in tears and Mrs. Rawleigh pressed tissues into my hand and we remembered with bells and brass. But even remembering, we were asking why, until the quiet one said instead to ask why He lets any of us live at all. I know you don’t owe us life. But you give every breath just the same. And because of Your love for us, we are not consumed.

I know you used Dr. Hsu’s death. I know at least one life has been changed because of it – not just him, but even his death. But still. And why did you take him instead of Mrs. Rawleigh and Josh? You protected their car – we cannot thank you enough – and yet you took Dr. Hsu. You didn’t have to, but you did. I don’t understand – and the mix of grief and thankfulness is overwhelming. But God, You could have stopped the car, or kept him longer in his apartment, or something – anything. Now there are no piano quartets, no piano teacher really there to “party”… and so many hymns that remind us of him, every time – “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” – the story of his life, and “This is My Father’s World” – how we treasure that recording, or “Great is Thy Faithfulness” – played in a different key because that was how he remembered it. I missed that memorial, and yet I was in tears just seeing a handful of photos from it.

I don’t understand. How does that same love that does not consume just let them go?
Is this why Lamentations is called not “why” but “how” in Hebrew? We know why, we know You have Your reasons. But right now we don’t see how they fit.
Yet we have to keep on living with the questions right now. Somehow we can trust You even when what You do makes no sense. You gave us Job to teach us that, an example of how to cling to You and refuse to doubt You even when we have no idea what is going on behind the curtain.
Give us grace to hold on always. Be there to hold us up when we think we are at the end. Because it’s only then we realize You are all we need.
But even so, it hurts.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.


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