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Unanswered Questions

July 26, 2019

“Why didn’t God heal my father of kidney failure? Why didn’t he heal my child…my mother…my wife…my husband…me…?”

Good questions. They’re part of yesterday’s blog here by The Rev. Dr. Warren Latham.  I said in my closing commentary yesterday that he and I still have some unanswered questions, and that maybe you do, too.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart,” is advice that comes from about a hundred years ago.

“Try to love the questions themselves,” it goes on, “like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.”

“Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.” Hit the pause button with me on that one.

Rewind and re-read: “Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.”

Say what?

Say this: “The point is, live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

I first came upon that advice from Rainer Maria Rilke while studying under one the giants of both faith and learning in my life. We called her Frau Kuhn. She was officially a college professor of German, but the positive influence she and her seminary professor husband had on their students is immeasurable.

Back to our own unanswered questions.

I find this helpful, even in this era of Pretty Much Instant Anything: “Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Here’s to praying and living into our questions together.

And here’s to praying and letting this be true in the meantime: I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. (Job 42:3)

Or, maybe I need to let Gene Peterson’s version of that same verse be my Prayer of Confession: I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head.

Anybody else need to join me in that admission?

 

 

 

 

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