A few weeks ago I wrote about an experience of trying to pray through a prayer list and being unable to finish. Tonight I was reminded of that moment. The long story:
During my Sunday afternoon nap I felt antsy, restless. Melanie asked what was wrong and that was what I told her. I was feeling trapped by my broken body that made it difficult or impossible to move about freely. I was frustrated.
Melanie asked if I would like for her to take me out for a drive. I thought that was a nice idea, even though it left my complaint essentially unchanged. After she gave me my 4 pm feeding through the stomach tube, we got ready to go.
We took a long drive around the edges 0f town. The traffic was light. The van air-conditioner worked. The second full day of Spring was nice in Florida.
Melanie called someone and asked if they would like to go out for supper with us. Such events mean I sit at the table, unable to swallow or eat anything, but able to enjoy the conversation. Melanie drove over to the friend’s house. When we arrived, our friend was sitting outside their home talking with a couple of neighbors.
When our friend got in the van, she announced that she had just been learning that the neighbor’s husband had had a str0ke two days before while at a nearby drugst0re. Our friend remembered seeing an ambulance parked there that day when she drove by.
The husband was now at home, half his body paralyzed. They could not afford to place him in a care facility. The husband had been the only one who had a driver’s license and the wife now faced the job of learning how to drive in order to do any errands. And she’s got the new job of taking care of her husband in his helpless state.
I burst out with Lord! Have mercy! And over supper I pondered how G0d c0uld allow such suffering. It was not what I would do.
But — of course — I don’t see much of the picture. Only the painful part. Is God suddenly not a good God, just because this event disturbs and puzzles me?
And after a bit more pondering, I th0ught maybe I needed t0 take my chance t0 tell the Lord thank you for the evening drive and supper with Melanie and our friend, after my unsettled inner feelings this afternoon.
I don’t deserve the grace there, either.