Driving home from dropping Midge off at her visits is a hard time for me. The car is too quiet. I think about the coming weeks when the house will be too quiet and the dinners too easy and the living spaces too clean.
Greg and I talk about what it will be like to lose her, our daughter of two years. It will be impossible. And yet our family will survive together. It’s when we think about her alone that we feel the tears well up. She will think we have abandoned her. She won’t understand why we’re not coming back to get her, why we’ve left her. She will cry for her brothers, whom she asks for all day long, every day when they’re at school. She will feel betrayed. She will wonder if we loved her and why we didn’t want to keep her.
Today, driving home in the silence, I wondered about my perception of God in all of this. I blame Him completely, because I know that He is all-powerful. He can make anything work out the way He wants it to. My good friend reminds me that there is sin in this world, and bad things happen because of it. And I remind her that while that is true, God is over it all. “Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? Does not the Most High send both calamity and good?” (Lamentations 3:38) Think of the demons in the man on the hill…they had to beg Jesus to let them stay…to let them into the herd of pigs on the hillside. Even the demons are under His control.
Deep tragedy makes me ponder God’s goodness, God’s power, free will and sin. Ann Voskamp uses the word picture of Satan being a lion prowling the earth seeking to destroy, but he is a lion on a leash. Which doesn’t help me and my blaming, because I would blame a dog’s owner if their leashed dog mauled somebody…it would be their fault because they are in charge.
And then I think about Midge’s perspective: Mommy and Daddy are in charge of everything in her world. So when Mommy and Daddy suddenly stop being around and leave her with someone else, it must be our choice, right?
And I wonder about me, as God’s child, yelling at Him for taking her away and hurting her so. But He really IS in charge of everything, so it makes sense to take it out on Him, right? But then there’s the interplay of sin and free will and a child suffering for her parents’ actions and looking at the big picture and God is over it all and it doesn’t make any sense to me.
She will blame us for abandoning her. That is an inevitable outcome of this experience. She is too young to understand what has happened to her.
And I don’t understand what is happening to her or to me, so I will blame God. But I don’t want to. Because I’m spiritually mature enough to know that there’s more to it than what I understand. But not quite spiritually mature enough to actually understand or to get past doing the blaming. I guess I’m stuck in the middle, so I’ll keep blaming God for a while, while knowing that He is love and there’s a bigger picture and a plan and He is beyond my knowledge. And then I’ll feel guilty about blaming Him.
Sound like a plan?