I Don’t Know


Although the merchandisers were ready for the holidays a month or two ago, the rest of us are now entering into the season officially. I’ve been reading about those who have already had Thanksgiving dinners. I suppose those were previews of that feast which was yet to come. The movie theaters are full of New Mooners and weepy blindsided footballers and end of the worlders. Many are hitting the road tomorrow to get to destinations where there will be food, family, friends, and more food.

We are all aware of the darkness that comes with the holidays for many. The empty chair, the missing laugh, the hugs from everyone except that one. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to think about that. I don’t want to cry any more tears. I do not want to be sad. I do not want to mourn and grieve. But that is not my choice. Losing my son and my dad in the same year was a significant turning point. I really cannot ignore that they are not here with us. I certainly do not want to forget them. I can’t.

After reading much theological reflection on death, dying, grief, and sorrow … my only conclusion is that I don’t know. Ask me most any question that comes to mind about death and justice and the unfairness of life and I don’t know. After analyzing my thoughts and trying to comprehend the various offerings from Calvinists and Armenians and Whoknowswhattheyareians, I don’t know.  How do we live without our loved ones? I don’t know. How do we go on laughing and enjoying ourselves while that hurting place still reminds us of what we’ve lost?  I don’t know. How do we go on loving while at the same time being afraid of losing someone else? I don’t know.

I’m not asking anyone to tell me. I’ve decided that this is what Faith is for. Faith is not for what we know. Faith does not result in answers and solutions.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

I always have skipped over verse 2 in a hurry to get to the great stories of faith. But I need that tidbit of information. THIS is what the ancients were commended for. They didn’t know. Can you imagine the conversations on the hillsides? When the stars were shining brightly in the expanse of the night sky … and in existential wonder simple men and women of great faith asked questions of the ages. The answers to which, the Bible says, they didn’t know.

They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. (Hebrews 12:13)

Faith is not totally blind, but even if it were nearly blind … the ancients were commended for it. Do we know more? Way more. But you know, at the end of the day everything I know is outweighed by what I don’t know.

Two songs encourage me tonight. Matt Redman’s You Never Let Go, and Hillsong United’s Mighty To Save. He never lets go, and He is mighty to save. When I know those two things, the things I don’t know can wait.

And if these reflections seem to be repetitive of things I’ve already written, all I can say is that when I think about these things I end up in the same places. And I choose to share that with you. Thank you for reading and commenting. It means a lot.


Have a great Thanksgiving. I plan to count my blessings.


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