I grew up as a preacher’s kid seeing all the blessings and ugliness of church-life. I had the “right” answer for every question, but, in so doing, I pushed people away from God at every turn. People felt trapped or condemned by my words. I had a very difficult discussion with a dear friend in high school. After our discussion, she gave up on any kind of faith. For about 12 years after that, God shut me up.
I still thought I had a strong faith, till September 11, 2001. Then it all came crashing down. I saw the towers fall because men “served God.” A few days later, I saw the headlines describing another attack at an elementary school in Russia. A small rebel group had stormed the campus executing all the male faculty and some women and children as they herded the remaining teachers and children into the gymnasium. From there they held them hostage and made demands until a military gunfight ended the scene and many more lives. I cried out. How could a loving God allow this to happen?
Also during this time, the creation vs evolution debate raged in the media. I saw scientists and pastors alike sound ridiculous. Pastors tried to speak of science which they knew nothing of. Scientists tried to speak of scripture that they had never read.
These questions drove me back to the creation story in Genesis 1-3. As I read the story again, I was horrified. I thought God was all-knowing and all-powerful, yet he created a man and placed him in the very context of his downfall. Then he cursed them. “How dare you!” I shouted. Either God was not really loving, or He was not all-powerful, or He did not exist. I walked around for days wondering what I would tell my young children or wife. Life truly is a pointless accident, I concluded. How could I continue on?
Then something miraculous happened. God opened my mind in the strangest place. I was changing the diaper of my youngest child; he was one year old. We played the what-sound-does-a-dog-make game.
“What sound does a dog make?” I asked.
“Ruff! Ruff!” he said gleefully.
“What sound does a cat make?”
“Meoooow,” he expressed.
“What sound does a snake make?” I enquired.
“Ssssssssss!” Then he giggled.
Suddenly I pictured that garden scene from Genesis 2.
“Adam, what is that animal following you around?” God questioned.
“Dog!” Adam blurted.
“What is that one up in the air?”
“Biiiird,” Adam responded.
“What is that one with the long neck?”
“Geeraffe!” Adam exclaimed.
To hear the rest of the story, you will need to visit the blogs from the home page. However, be careful. Answers without relationship are lifeless and unfeeling. I didn’t write these blogs to answer your question, but to encourage you in your own journey of seeking God. I try to make them as personal as possible; many of these are direct answers for my son’s questions.
Twenty plus years after that difficult discussion that shut my mouth, I can say, “My ears had heard of you (God) but now my eyes have seen you. (Job 42:5)”