Today I wore regular mascara (not water-proof) to a funeral for an 18-yr-old boy. When will I learn? Don’t answer that.
This handsome fellow was killed in a spring break car accident. So, you are tempted to read over that sentence and put him in the college spring break box, right? Mmmm hmmmm, heard that same old story before. Except, this kid was on his way to do mission work. And he was hit while helping another motorist who had been rear-ended. He is what is known in the mothering world as a FYM. Fine Young Man. Okay, that’s not really a term. It can be now. I want to raise some FYMs in my house. You?
It’s the perfect atmosphere for a storm of questions from my 7-yr-old. A good kid was here;now he isn’t. Questions I can’t answer. Questions which dredge up all of my doubts from the seedy dark corners of my innards. Please don’t picture my innards.
Our school days start with what we dork-ily call “What’s God Saying?” We read from God’s Book. I distract my developmentally delayed toddler (can we call him a “toddler” if he isn’t walking?) with goldfish crackers strategically placed around the room. We ask God questions. I tolerate my 5-r-old’s complaints of boredom. (I’m sorry, what part of the Red Sea’s being parted do you find boring?) We ask God what we are supposed to get from what we just read. I further distract the non-toddling toddler with a bin of pinto beans to dig in. And throw. We tell God what we don’t understand. (Last week, my 7-yr-old wondered why it was okay for Rahab to tell a lie. Hmmmm. Good one.) We give God our day. Then we lighten things up with a dance break. All homeschoolers should have a dance break built into the schedule. Let’s be honest: All humans should have a dance break built into the schedule. It should involve Pink Floyd, Emmylou Harris, and Elvis. The rest is negotiable, an elective.
Why, yes, it is quite glamorous, isn’t it? How kind of you to notice.
Confession time. Sometimes when I am reading God’s story to my kids I wonder, what if we get to the end of life and this is all a joke? What if I am teaching my kids a hollow tale. You heard me. What if we are just desperate for something to believe in? What if we end our sentences with prepositions?
Then today I am in a church full of people. Full of young people. I’m the cynical one walking in with her big ole messy gaping life-wounds and sorrowful doubt I’ve carried in from outside. I’m the one gasping for air, hungry for a word of truth. I’m the one who has gifts only God could give…and I’m still just not quite sure. And the young surround a casket. And a mom and a dad. Their hands are raised. They sing of glory. How can they be wrong?
Maybe C.S. Lewis is right. ”Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” God either is or He isn’t. I’m going with is.
I worshiped today at a funeral. In my regular mascara.
Thanks so much for letting me wrestle with God right out here in the open. It would be embarrassing, but I’m too exhausted to feel it. Thanks for loving me even with my limp.
Tell me where you have worshiped lately. I’ll bet it wasn’t at church. Tell me what you will dance to on your dance break. Tell me He is real. Tell me how you know.