A woman once stepped out of the room of her dying loved one and asked a doctor if there was a room anywhere in the hospital where she could go to scream. After directing her to a quiet room for prayer, the doctor thought to himself that there should be a screaming room in every hospital
After C. S. Lewis lost his wife to cancer, he wrote down a few of his thoughts.
“I am not in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not ‘So there’s no God after all,’ but ‘So this is what God is really like.'” (A Grief Observed)
He observed that the God who held his dear Joy Lewis in His hands did fearful things with those hands. “Time after time when He seemed most gracious, He was preparing the next torture…I wrote that last night. It was a yell rather than a thought.”
Unbelief doesn’t shout bewilderment at a personal God. It shouts at blind fate. Belief shouts at a faithful and loving Heavenly Father when He seems to tolerate unimaginable suffering.
With our Savior, we cry in agony, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.”(Psalm 22).
We know that, “There is a time to be born and a time to die.” Yes, “The living know that they will die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1;9:5). Even the games and prayers of children rehearse this difficult truth.
Ring around the Rosie,
Pocket full of Posies,
We all fall down!
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Pray the Lord my soul to keep,
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
We groan and sigh during our earthly journey. Death is our enemy. It is also the gateway into the full joy of the presence of God.
Let’s remember that suffering and screaming have a place in this life. It’s ok and maybe even helpful to scream!
“While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.” (Hebrews 5:7).
Written with prayers for those who are screaming,