Monday, March 24, 2008

Not Why but Who -- Hope Chronicles 28

Katy, my older cat, loves to sleep next to me. I lie on my side and hold the blanket up and she curls up next to my tummy as I let the blankets gently cover her. Often, I can't hear her purr, but as I rub her belly I can feel the vibrations, the contentment. It's a soothing ritual the two of us have developed.

As you have guessed, I like cats. I also like useless bits of trivia. Without using Google see if you know the following:

  1. Only one type of cat lives in a group and it is _________.
  2. The first state to ratify the constitution was _________.
  3. The first female doctor was _____________.
  4. Why do hummingbirds hum? (No, it isn't, he he, that they don't know the words)
  5. The movement to get women the right to vote began in 1848. How many years did it take to achieve it?
  6. How many stripes are on the American flag?
  7. What Midwestern city adds coco to it's famous chili and what is the brand name?

Stop right now and write down the answers. No peeking as I've put them at the very bottom. I'll send a small gift card to whomever gets the most right first. (You can only play in the next 48 hours!) You are all on the honor system.

That was a long prelude to what this post is really about -- that "Why?" question. Even more than knowing useless bits of trivia, I like to understand the why of things. I like to know why it works and why you don't do it this other way. I like to know why things need to be this way rather than that way. I don't know that I actually pestered my parents so much with the questions. (I would have gotten immediate consequences if I had not had immediate obedience.) But, to the extent I was able, there was a quest for "Why?"

Even today, "why" still comes into play. Please don't tell me to do something without explaining the reason behind it. In my mind, comprehension is everything.

I don't think I'm that far off from a lot of people. I may do it more than most in day to day interactions, but when the really big things happen, we all find ourselves asking "Why?"

November 2006 I started dating Bill. After the first date, we pretty much saw each other every day. We hit a rough patch the end of March, but I anticipated getting back together. I didn't think it was a forever break. I thought we both needed to get our bearings. After all, we had been moving pretty fast over the last several months -- to the point that we had spoken of marriage. Bill had vowed, "I'd marry you tomorrow if you'd let me."

The middle of April Bill suffered an aortic aneurysm. His gentle heart split open. They managed to do surgery and he lingered a few days, but he never truly came around. I got to talk to him and pray with him in a one-sided kind of way, but we never had the final conversation that I longed for.

When it first happened I went to a grief support group for a time. Eventually, I needed it less and less. But tonight I went back. That year anniversary is coming quickly and I don't want to be caught off guard. Anniversaries can be tricky to navigate.

Lots of people in the room had much more recent losses than mine -- November, December, January. And several expressed "why" questions. "Why so quickly?" "Why with all the medical advances?" "Why wasn't I there at the very end? I only left for a moment."

It was interesting because everyone in the room tonight expressed some type of faith. That hasn't always been the case. I came away thinking that "why" questions have their merits, but the better question is "Who?"

  • Who walked this earth and is intimately acquainted with our grief? (Isaiah 53:3)
  • Who wept when His friend died? (John 11:35)
  • Who comforts those who walk through the valley of the shadow of death? (Psalm 23)
  • Who prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies? (Psalm 23)
  • Who has compassion on the heavy laden? (Matthew 11:28)
  • Who rejoices over us with singing? (Zephaniah 3:17)

Knowing the "why" pales in comparison of knowing the WHO that is Jesus who has welcomed our loved ones home and stands with arms open wide to comfort us in our grief as we wrestle with the "why". Just as Katy snuggles in close to me, we can snuggle into Jesus.

And I was serious about that small gift card! Leave me those answers..... and then check to see if you are right!


1. Lions 2. Delaware 3. Elizabeth Blackwell 4. It's the sound that their wings make from moving so fast. 5. 72 years with the first legal voting happening in 1920 6. 13 -- one for each of the original colonies 7. Cincinnati's Skyline Chili -- very yummy. Of course, I grew up on it . . . .


Laura said...

Love the new look!

Lelia Chealey said...

Loved this post girl! Keep them coming.
Yes to God Tuesdays started today on my blog...would love your input!!! :)
Lysa's book/Bible study is just so good, I'm really loving it. Come share with us my friend, I value your input deeply.

Elizabeth said...

Lions, Delaware, the noise their wings make passing through the air, ?, 13 stripe, ? . Is this how you wanted the answers? I wasnt quite sure. I did write them down on my purple postit note I promise. As always your thoughts are amazing. I also love the new look of your blog!! Hope all is well!

Samantha said...

Amy -
Thanks for the comment on my blog :) I'll definitely be checking back here.
But I don't know a thing about cats!


Elizabeth said...

I would love to email you but I am not sure what your email address is. If you would like to send me an email at eph2007AThotmailDOTcom that would be great and I will get you my mailing address. Thanks!!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Ok, I knew lions, hummingbird wings, I guessed 64 years until the suffrage movement succeeded and 13 colonies.

You're so right - it's about who and not why. Why doesn't really get us anywhere. But it's a lingering question and we have to figure out how to deal with it.