“Help” is the prayer I pray most often, both for myself and others. In my experience, although this is a prayer that’s always answered, it’s rarely answered how and when I think it should be.
“How” isn’t usually a problem for me. Most plans are better than mine, so naturally God’s plans are always better. Most of the time, I can see this, which enables me to trust even when I can’t.
But “when” is a problem I stumble over again and again, since I am perhaps the most impatient person on the planet. I occasionally wonder if God’s off taking a nap, or watching Jimmy Kimmel Live when I really need Him. (I know, I know. I’m working on it, okay?)
For me, doubt is like a shadow, deepening in the dark, and creeping forward on lonely, sleepless nights, when I am sick with worry. Last year, when I felt surrounded by it, I began doing the only thing I knew to do: I stood in my window, looking out across the lake, to the power plant, where the lights are always on and work is always being done. Always.
Then, I told myself that things couldn’t possibly be as bad as they seemed, because if the end of the world was really coming, or had already come, there wouldn’t be anybody at the power plant; everybody would be at home, with their families. And I was right: everything worked out just fine. Eventually.
Since then, I have come to think of that power plant as a metaphor for God: The lights are always on and the work is always being done, even if I can’t see it.
But tonight, the power plant isn’t God. Tonight, the power plant is heaven, where my friend, Rick, took up residence two nights ago. Tonight, I stand in my window, looking out across the water, knowing exactly where Rick is, that he’s healthy and happy, and that I will see him again; I just can’t cross the water right now.
But my love can. And it does. So, until I cross the water, I send my love to those on the other side. To all those stuck on this side of the water with me, especially those suffocating in grief, as I am, I wish you strength, courage, and hope, always hope.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4