reconciling things

“Allow it all to happen: beauty and terror…” Rilke

Has the Lord ever asked you a question and you know the right answer and your answer are not the same?

The Lord is really good at asking simple questions that cannot be answered because the answer is too difficult to bear, let alone say out loud. Like the rich young ruler who went away sad, sometimes what God asks of us is more than what we are prepared to give.

My life has always been a long string of being lonely. I was lonely when I was a kid and when I grew up and when I got married and now that I am divorced. It is not something that goes away, although it certainly ebbs and flows. And I talk to the Lord about it regularly—sometimes in a tantrum, sometimes whining, sometimes in great gut wrenching sobs that pour out my eyes and make me unpresentable to everyone except him.

And lately all the Lord says is, “Aren’t I enough for you?”

There it is.

The. Question.

The one in which the right answer and my answer are not the same.

I ducked into the chapel tonight and stared at our Lord and I could do nothing but weep—because I am human. Being human I want what I cannot have and I want what will not satisfy. Yet, I still look for something or someone other than my Lord.

I don’t have the answer I know I should have for the Lord. I mean, I could look at him in the eyes and say, “Yes, I truly believe you are enough for me.” But, I cannot go to him and be a phony. I may be childish and dissatisfied and doubting, but at least I can be honest with him. It is the least I can do. The one thing I can give him is my naked honesty and say, “I want to believe that you are enough, but my flesh is weak and I cannot.”

Will he wait for my faithless heart to catch up? He has been waiting 2000 years for me. Maybe he will have patience with me a little longer while I learn detachment and find my fiat.

“…I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” (Rilke, Letters on Love)

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