This past weekend I was talking to a dear friend who has known me for most of my life. She is one of those people I have always admired deeply: her life has been a strong witness and inspiration to me. We were talking about a story I shared in my sermon that morning, and we were wrestling together with the reality of intense pain and hardship in the lives of those we love in spite of our deepest, most fervent prayers for God to intervene and work or heal or provide.
I have often heard people make comments about how “once we’re in heaven we’ll understand” or something to that effect when considering that endless question of why such horrible things befall the most faithful, generous people. But when I was talking with my friend, I said to her that I’m not sure we will really ever know. I said that I don’t necessarily expect that we will be given some key or answer sheet to lay down next to the events of our life. I am not sure we get or need that in the end.