During calling hours last evening, I can’t tell you how many people – some were family friends, others were complete strangers – who came through the receiving line telling me, that my dad was a “father-figure” to them when they did not have one; or the incredible role and impact that he had on their lives; or how his faith and family had been an inspiration to them.
Having said all that – after losing both parents so close together with decades of life still ahead of them both – it’s easy to point an accusing finger to heaven and claim that such a loss is unfair and is a cruel cosmic joke.
- Why are they both gone?
- Why should I go on without them?
- Why did this loving couple of such demonstrated faith have to die so young?
- Why our parents?
After my mom passed, I shared the book with my dad. It’s written by C.S. Lewis – an avowed atheist who became one of the greatest Christian writers and theologians of the 20th Century.
When I lay these [why] questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’ It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He (God) shook His head – not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.’
Can a mortal ask questions which Gods finds unanswerable? Yes, because all nonsense questions are unanswerable. Questions such as, ‘Is yellow square or round? Or ‘How many hours are in a mile?’ – have no answers. Probably half the questions we ask – half of our great theological and metaphysical problems – are nonsensical questions.What that passage suggests is that all of our “why” questions about tragedy are the wrong types of questions to ask.