Today she asked the hardest questions.
The kind that don’t have answers.
We spent the morning teaching the girls and staff of Mercy House about leadership, positive attitude in difficult circumstances and the love of God. It was rich. The girls took notes and sat in rapt attention.
As we wrapped up the two-hour session, we opened it up for questions. We are still in that silent-awkward phase, where we are getting reacquainted. There are eight little reasons that make the transition easy (who were being cared for in the baby room by Maureen and my kiddos during our session):
And then she raised her hand, quietly, but the urgency of her question, hung in the air.
“You speak of God and how much he loves us. I would like to know why he allowed me to suffer so much? He is powerful, yes? Why doesn’t he stop the bad things?”
The question was heavy, it came from a place of pain I can’t imagine: this girl who had been gang raped by evil men, the memory and trauma very fresh.
A 17 year old mother, her baby conceived in a wicked world, grasping for something to hold onto, but I’ve watched her for two days now tenderly care for her baby. It’s a beautiful heartbreak, this world we live in.
My heart broke for her trying so hard to understand the why’s of suffering. Suddenly, our tidy message from the western world seemed empty.
I looked at her with tears thick, and I said, “God stepped into your pain and brought you here. We have suffering in our world because of sin, but you aren’t alone. Jesus is here and somehow even when he doesn’t make sense, he is still God and he loves you.”
My husband offered her tender promises from the Bible and we acknowledged her very real struggle to understand. But in the end we can only lean into God’s Sovereignty even when we have more questions than answers.
An hour later, we huddled in a room (21 of us!) and we sang of his great faithfulness.
Because even when we can’t explain the why’s, we trust anyway.