I seldom dare to be rude to God. Well, at least not directly. I may have lost my mind at that moment, but God chose that very moment to reveal Himself to me.
“Ok Lord, it is your problem. I’m throwing it all back to you!”
Those were the words that I left the OYP adoration room with during the second night of the Combined Community Retreat (CCR). I was pondering about human suffering. I kind of knew the Catholic textbok answer of “We are not meant to understand everything but we must trust God and His plan for us.” At the same time, that school of thought really annoyed me just as I know how difficult it must also be for people who suffer and try to accept those words.
What does it mean to us? Is it like the same way we speak to ignorant children when we are just too tired to explain or simply don’t have the faith that they will understand if we took the time to teach? We then simply end it with “You will understand when you grow up!” So like a child, I replied to God.
“Fine! I don’t know or understand anything. It is all up to you then!”
I left the room. One hour later when we were all well-fed, a couple from 1Peter community gave their testimony. They wanted to know why did God take their son away and confronted Archbishop with the question. Archbishop replied (rephrased):
“You do know that your son belongs to God and not to you, so who are you to demand that answer on why did God take your son away? We ourselves all belong to God.
You said you love your son, but who do you think is a better guardian for him? You or Jesus? So why do you insist on keeping him on earth when now he has returned to Jesus the perfect guardian?”
Harsh as it was, the answer really struck me on 2 levels. Firstly, that of course in all my own childish tantrum and conviction that God will never reveal an answer to my earlier questions in the adoration room, God actually chose to reveal it to me in such a profound way just 1-2 hours later.
Secondly, it struck me at how we can actually both love and be selfish at the same time – of course I meant it in a mortal manner. I would never doubt the love of a mother, a family member or a friend in times when they see their loved ones suffering. Like how the mother in the testimony grieved for her son who, in her perspective, was born to suffer on earth for 20 days before leaving again.
What is the point of it all? We all want our loved ones to be healed. We all want them to be close to us and the chance to show our love tangibly to them.
But indeed, no matter how meaningless or how desolate we judge a life to be, God has made each one of us purposefully and meaningfully. He has made each one of us, He will take care of each one of us in His own time and in His own way.
Maybe to even wish for something else would be a cheapening of God’s plan.