I have learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages.
– Charles Spurgeon
I lost my brother this week. He passed in his sleep in Los Angeles on Monday. He would’ve been 26 next month.
My relationship with God has gone through sort of an upheaval over the last two or so years. It’s not that I ever stopped believing in Him, although I’ve had my share of “what the fuck?” moments. I (Shawn also) went through a season of what I like to refer to as a sort of cleansing fire. All of the ultra conservative, black and white, void of grace that had clung to us as we grew up in the church was melted off of our hearts and the ashes blown into oblivion. I questioned everything. Theology, Truth, Love, Justice…I wanted to know what was Right. I wanted to know what was Good. I wanted to be buried in the heart of God, if He was indeed these things.
Most days, especially since the birth of my beautiful daughter, I have next to nothing to give. I feel like a shell. I want to converse with Jesus, but can never seem to form any words outside of the occasional “help me, please”. I am weary from this cleansing season, but I know in the deepest parts of my being that I will be so incredibly grateful for it on the other side. I don’t pray fervently as I was taught to in church and school growing up. I don’t read my Bible every day or invest in scripture journals. What I do is make constantly sure that my heart is as open as it can possibly be to the Truth and to Love and to Good. Because those are the traits of the heart of God. Right?
I have learned so much about God during this season. I have learned about His Compassion, His Justice, His Mercy, His Greatness, His Redemption and His Truth.
When I shared the news of my brother’s death on social media, I received a bevy of texts, facebook messages, instagram comments, etc, from people in all walks of life. Some who walk closely with God, others who’ve decided to keep some distance. Some offered genuine condolences, some offered helping hands and prayers.
Death makes us all question so many things, doesn’t it? Why do these things happen? Why did I lose my mom six years ago? Why did I lose my brother two days ago? Why are people mean? Why is there so much pain still in this world? Why aren’t the orphans cared for and the water crisis solved? If God is Good, why is this all so bad?
I obviously don’t have these answers, none of us really do. But what I do know for certain, is that at the end of the shittiest fucking day in the middle of the shittiest fucking season, when I am empty and broken with nothing to offer, if nothing else, God is with me. And to me, that is so Good.