Monday, November 23, 2009

The Beauty of Unanswered Questions:

John 14:6
“I am…the truth…”

What if we were a people that asked more questions rather than always having answers? 

I was thinking about the implications of that kind of a life today, as I was hanging out with my friend T [We’ll call her T for short- even though I warned her she might end up in my blog: all friends be forewarned…your conversations with me may end up being read by hundreds of people]. 

T is a 17 year old girl.  I met her on my Saturday morning ministry, and in the past year our weekly interactions have blossomed into a really special friendship.  T lives in a very rough part of town- surrounded by violence, drugs and poverty.  To add to that, she’s had a difficult past- filled with pain, suffering, and tragedy.  But a few months ago, T gave her life to the Lord- in my parked car on the side of her busy street, which I can honestly say, was one of the most amazing moments in my life.

Since that day, our time spent together has, in a way, served a new purpose.  It’s been a time of “reordering” for her.  A time for asking new questions, and for seeking new answers.  Her old ways of thinking are slowly being replaced with new ideas, thoughts, and dreams.   New expectations, beliefs, and values.  But these times of reordering have always included one very important factor: questions.

This day was no different.  “Deb, how do know if you truly love someone?”…

I used to be uncomfortable with questions.  What I mean by that, is that I always assumed I had to offer an answer when someone asked a question.  The past few years I’ve learned to be comfortable with unanswered questions.  I’ve learned that I don’t have to have all the answers….and that in fact, I shouldn’t.  I’ve learned that in questions unanswered by us…we leave room for the greatest Answer of all- the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and in the lives of others.  So this time, I reciprocated this question with another one:

“What do you think, T?”
“Hmmm….I don’t know.  I’ll have to think about that one.  I’ve never asked myself that before.”

We spent the car ride home exploring love- talking about God’s love for us, our love for each other.  We talked about what true love might resemble- and what it might not.  Each question paving the way into something deeper.  Each question opening the door for other questions.  And so, as it seems, our night ended with unanswered questions. 

Some of you  may be thinking, “what a wasted learning opportunity”.  And many years ago, I would have probably agreed.  But more than anything, I walked away from our interaction today - more confident than ever of the power of my Lord. 

A Lord that not only hears our questions, but places them in our hearts.  A Lord who himself meets many of our questions with more questions.  A Lord who understands that the fruit of an unanswered question is perseverance, faith, and persistence.  A Lord who knows that with each question, he is lovingly drawing us one step closer, one level deeper to the finding where true answers are found…Himself. 

And so may we, my brothers and sisters, be freed to release ourselves from the burden of answers.  May we be challenged to stretch our faith as we trust our Lord with our unanswered questions, and those of our loved ones.  May we allow ourselves to be quiet for a moment, training our spiritual ears to hear the answers whispered by His Holy Spirit.  And may we with confidence believe that in the end He will draw us to the One where true answers are to be found. 

Thank you, Lord, for our unanswered questions.  And thank you, that at the end of our wondering, there we will always find You. 

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