Where Are You, God?
Last week, a co-worker came into my cubicle, her face cloudy. Beside her stood a young girl who had recently arrived from another city. The child's black pageboy framed a heart-shaped face with dark eyes.
"Hi, sweetie," I said, even though I knew she couldn't understand a word of English.
My co-worker told me about the girl's family, and the story wasn't fun to hear. Her mother and father had come on their own to our city, so they weren't connected to an agency and lacked access to any kind of assistance. Thankfully, they were in our office now, so we could assign a case worker to them.
The family had survived unthinkable crimes and a journey across the planet, but now, they were just eking out an existence. This was the same story I had heard over and over the past few months.
Governments attacking their own citizens.
Floods, famine, war.
The Bible told us we'd go through this, but it doesn't make it any less difficult to digest. My heart groans when I see all the suffering. I want to turn away, turn off the news, tune out the cries of dying people.
It's all too much. I mean, what can I do about any of it – except pray? And yet, here was this family.
As the child's father met with his new case worker, I gave my new friend a children's book. She came towards me a tiny bit as she saw the colorful illustrations. I smiled and showed her how to open the pop-up flaps. "See? There are hidden pictures."
"You can have it," I said, longing to take her in my lap--or at least stroke her hair. Clutching the gift, she ran off. I followed. As I did, I noticed her clothes were dirty and her shoes were at least two sizes too big. They barely stayed on her small brown feet.
Suddenly, a big wave of sorrow crashed over me. The truth about the things she and her family had experienced threatened to drown me. Angry, I sucked in my breath.
Where are you, God? I thought.
And then, as audibly as if He'd spoken it out loud to me, I heard: "I'm in you."
The truth of it gave me my breath back.
Yes, I thought. Yes.
I nodded, sighed, and caught up to my new friend. Gently, I took her hand.
She smiled up at me and didn't let go.