I have this friend, in her late 50’s, a blogger, who writes about addiction whom I’ve never met or talked to. That’s grounds for friendship, right? When I read her writing, I feel some of her pain and some of her hope. If not for our perspectives on suffering and our relationship with God, we likely share very little in common. I’d venture to say nothing else in common, but I’ve never met or talked to her.

Somehow in the darker seasons of the last 5 years she has been there with me. My prayers have been there for her, during her considerably darker seasons because I have nothing else to offer her. She has not leaned on my writing or gleaned from my suffering. I have not suffered from her experience or endured her success. Despite, barely knowing, I feel like I know her well. By her words, she knew how to give me hope when others could not because of pain.

Pain is incredible in its ability to bring people together and equally incredible in its ability to isolate. The emotional weight of pain drives people in a direction that in many ways is determined by their perception when they feel no pain.

What are people good fblurry-visionor? If I perceive that people by in large are out to use me, or I view relationships in terms of usefulness, I will surely isolate or come across as disingenuous in my times of suffering. If relationships are essential for my fullness of life, and if I go out-of-the-way to spend time with people simply because they are people I will be more inclined to seek out those who can help soothe my suffering.

This is where my friendship with my late 50’s female blogger friend comes in. She freely allows herself to feel and express, while maintaining a confidence that God is despite what might have happened or is still to come. Her friendship with God is palpable.

She wrote this recently: “Like my father who I thought cherished me forgot all about me. It hurts my feelings. I remember my friend Anna writing in Rare Bird about how she was disappointed with God more than angry. Now I understand what she meant.”
For those of you I barely know, I realize, I barely know God. More often than not I feel like I’m reading about someone who lives elsewhere; I’m singing to someone who touches me from above but doesn’t get too close too often. Or maybe I don’t get too close, too often.

And I, like my friend, find myself disappointed with God more than angry which in turn leads to disappointment within myself.

It leads me to question how well I even know myself.

Which leads me to the only answer I’ve been content with in the last year or so:

It’s okay not to know very much.

It’s okay to never know why.

I might even only know one thing.

And at times that one thing, I even sometimes have trouble knowing, remembering.

Jesus loves me, He knows me,

and for today that is enough.

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