Questions Without Answers

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Years ago, many years ago, we had a Bible teacher named Mr. Feenstra. He would ask us questions for which there were no answers. At the time we thought they were really dumb questions because there wasn’t an easy answer.

I am finding during these last weeks that there are a lot of questions without answers. I am also finding that the older I get…the more questions I seem to have. I find that my world gets grayer right along with my hair!

I have been reading a lot of posts on social media these last days. Probably because I seem to have time to do that. I also am curious what people are thinking and what my friends and family are doing.

Many of these posts raise more questions for me, about this time in our world. I read posts about how, staying home is what a “good Christian” would do. I read posts saying that saving a life is the top priority. I read posts about how people are suffering during this time and how they are overcoming.

Some of the questions I get to thinking about in the wee hours of the morning: Am I a better Christian staying home and staying safe and keeping others physically safe or am I a better Christian going to the home of a person who lives alone and desperately needs someone to physically give them a hug? Is the need for physical safety higher than the need for emotional and mental well-being?

I wonder if the need for physical safety trumps the need for spiritual well-being and worshipping with community. I wonder if physical safety is better than financial safety and at what point does financial insecurity become physically unsafe?

Where is the tipping point where self-isolation becomes harmful in more ways than physical? At what point do I sacrifice my well-being to tend the very real needs of someone who needs me to be physically there?

I read stories of those who are hurt by the lack of physical contact that comes with hugging someone you care about, but does not live in your home. They are hurt by the glares they receive if they come within 5 feet of someone in the grocery store instead of maintaining the standard 6 feet. Is one persons need of physical safety higher than another’s need of emotional, mental, financial and spiritual safety?

I don’t know the answers to those questions and I am struggling with them as I watch the farmers in our area grow more and more concerned about how they will make it. I watch small business people worry about the employees they had to lay off and furlough and wonder if they will have a business to go back to. I see teachers aching for their students.

I see pastors struggling with the fact they have to do their job long distance. I see stories of domestic abuse on the rise due to being stuck at home where it is not safe. There are stories of families going hungry because their parents do not work at an “essential business”. At what point do these issues become as important as staying healthy? At what point does staying isolated become selfish instead of selfless?

I wonder if following all the rules, while neglecting all my questions makes me a “good Christian” or a “good Pharisee”? Does posting judgmental comments on social media against those who are not reacting the same as me, make me socially responsible or a social bully? At what point am I just surviving instead of living? So many questions……very few answers.

I do know that history will judge us. It is always easier to judge after the fact. I wonder how we will look through the lens of time. Will we look like people who cowered in fear? Will we look like people who sacrificed for the needs of others? Will we look like people who were discerning and had wisdom? Will this just be a blip in the timeline of our world or will this so change our world that we no longer recognize it? Will we be judged on our lack of ability to listen, really listen to someone who had a different opinion than us?

What I DO know is this…now is the time to encourage and lift each other up. Now is not the time to beat each other over the head with our presumptions of how others should live or react. Now is the time to listen, to hear each other….to talk with each other and connect.

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way…” 1 Corinthians 13:4,5a,b. I also know I must not fall into the trap of thinking that this verse is perfect for so and so because they are, or are not social distancing…..because that is not really love at all.

You may wonder why I posted a photo of rocks. For me rocks are solid. They are not easily chipped. They are not tossed about by random winds of change. They become smooth and shiny and beautiful with the pounding of storms. They stand firm.

Soooo…..a big thank you to Mr. Feenstra….the teacher who taught us to think beyond what we see. He taught us discernment and we never even realized that is what he was teaching. He taught us to plant our feet on solid ground…something that will never shift. He taught us that when firmly planted; we can truly listen, hear, see and be love to those around us. He taught us to be rocks…….and maybe that is our answer to all those questions…….

“Lord,
give me firmness without hardness,
steadfastness without dogmatism,
love without weakness.”

― Jim Elliot

 

33 thoughts on “Questions Without Answers

  1. Ray V. says:

    Good questions, Mrs. K.

    A few weeks ago, I helped with a funeral at the funeral home I used to own, with a Mass at my church. In speaking to my priest, he said it was the first time in two weeks that he celebrated Mass with others there (immediate family and FH staff only) and how emotionally difficult it was for him to celebrate daily Mass alone, in front of his iPhone, streaming to those watching.

    Also, has anyone ever coughed or sneezed before this? Do it now and it’s like yelling “Fire” in a movie theatre or setting off a nuclear bomb.

    All I can say is “Jesus, I trust in You”

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I feel so sorry for those who have lost a loved one at this time and there is no celebration of the life that was lived. And yes….for priests and pastors this is a very hard time. They have been so used to nurturing their flocks and now they can only do so from a distance and that can be so inadequate.
      Yes….I have seen someone cough in the grocery store and people looked at him like he was trying to kill them. It is good to remember that it is also allergy season!
      Pretty much we are down to basics….the basic of where do we put our trust and I am with you….Jesus, I trust in You.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    I think you have questions, fears, worries, and a lot of sorrow – just like we all do. This is a very difficult time for the entire world. I am sure if each of us answered your questions – our answers would be very different. I stay home, I love and trust the Lord, and when I become overwhelmed – I go outside in the sunshine, do yard work, and pray to the Lord. I wish peace for everyone who is suffering right now. Too much time to think will normally make all of us worry more and question our principles and values. May God Bless you Faye and may God help you find the answers to your questions. xoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I think my questions are bigger than my fears about this. I am confident that God has it. It is just the level of hate and judgement on social media that eventually wear me down…then like you, I need to go outside and do yard work.
      I am so grateful I am somewhere I can do that and clearly see God at work around me.

      Like

  3. George says:

    Beautifully written, Faye. Many of these questions may remain unanswered for some time. We have a 93 year old aunt who is alone and has become increasingly confused over the years but remains fiercely independent. We shop for her and visit but our visits are outdoors, walks and conversation. The hardest part of this, for me, has been not being able to see tor hug the ones I love most. I know there are people out there who are lonely so maybe visits and driveway conversations might help. We all have to do what we believe is right and in the greater good for everyone while still being sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate. I don’t think there is one size fits all. Being smart but sensitive these days is a slippery slope.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I totally understand about missing the hugs and seeing those we love. My in laws are in a nursing home and we cannot go see them. Phone calls just don’t do it. My parents stay holed up in their house and I pick items up for them when I get things for us.
      I think what bothers me most during this time are those who use the “good Christian” line when they really have no idea what the next person is dealing with.
      Lots of prayer and many deep breaths!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. atimetoshare.me says:

    Excellent post with very compelling questions. Everyone is handling this differently. God knows we all share in the unknown, but God never changes and if we trust in him – our only solid foundation – we become rock solid too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Everyone is handling it different and I would hope people give each other space to handle it differently. Some have and some haven’t. I am so grateful God is solid! and I am going to try keep my feet planted firmly on that Rock.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anne Mehrling says:

    Your questions are deep. If we prayerfully do the best we can, always listening for God’s voice, then we shouldn’t fear the opinion of future generations. Who knows! They may rewrite history as some people are trying to do today!

    If anyone rewrites me, I hope they use pretty words and kind thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I have been struggling with the single minded focus of staying healthy physically at this time that so many seem to have.There are so many many other types of health we also need to be concerned about. My teacher daughter in law was near tears thinking about how some students in bad home situations were stuck there and how they might be doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        It is being reported that domestic violence cases are on the rise So I question our State police commander telling people NOT to go for a joy ride because the might break down or get into an accident. Couldn’t just getting out and going for a ride relieve that frustration? Other questions – Is death the worst thing that can happen to a person? Is the suffering and death that will be experienced if we have another great depression worse than what this virus could cause? Who really saves lives? (we know the answer to that one) If people were told to stay home in order to prolong life would they feel the same? (Quality vs quantity). I wish I was being more encouraging, I was going to say that Prayer is the only answer we have right now but hasn’t it always been the best answer. I do think that when we pray God sometimes gives the problem back to us and says Yes it is our job to give a hug to that person who needs one or deliver a meal to a family in need (even if it defies what we are being told by the world). I do hope you have a great day.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Margy says:

    I think this is the best thing I’ve read since this whole thing started!
    “At what point does staying isolated become selfish instead of selfless?”
    That is a thought I’ve had for a while now. I’ve mentioned to a few people that I would be happy to see my children back at work, my grandchildren back in school – even if it put me (as a senior) at greater risk. One person told me I was callous, another told me (and I’m paraphrasing) that everyone has to stay home because that is the only way to protect the vulnerable – and saving a life is more important than the not-vulnerable living their lives in a normal way. (Both of these people have significant health issues.)
    I wanted to call them selfish, but I think the more accurate word would be scared. And maybe that is what makes the difference. I’m not afraid of this virus, any more than all the others we have all faced. If I get it I will either be fine or dead – which is pretty much the same outcome for all the other things out there!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I have had so many conversations with people who are worried about the entire picture…financial. physical, mental, spiritual etc. And then I have seen so many posts that try “guilt” me into doing as they do. That if I don’t I am not a “good Christian” because I don’t care. And that is not it at all. I care about all the situations and it is not a cookie cutter type of deal for everyone.
      I am in full agreement with you….dead or alive….I will be fine. Either way is a win!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rabbitpatchdiary.com says:

    very thought provoking-I am not going out-Though if I heard of a need, besides mere complaints, then I would re think. People think all sorts of things-Someone not taking precautions, recently told me they had faith God would protect His own. People ought to act as they are called to, but like it or not, there are mandates in place. Well, that is how I am doing things – you stay safe love Michele

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      We are not going out any more than we have to either. Though with elderly parents who need things and a brother in law that needs some help it isn’t easy. We just try have a day where we do it all…come home…wash the clothes and shower. Fortunately we are in a rural area that has not been affected to much yet. We do have a packing plant 50 miles away that has been shut due to many sick workers. We have decided we will not be heading to that city any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Chrissie says:

    Really great thoughts. I wonder if there are interim solutions. Ex: if you know a lonely person, maybe invite them to your place if possible and everyone quarantine for a bit? I don’t know. This is definitely a tough time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I do get to my folks who have kind of holed up due to be 85+. I living cautiously during this time. I get out and get needed things like groceries etc. I just make sure to keep my hand sanitizer available. There are not that many cases in our area and most of them have recovered. The closest hot spot is 50 miles and most of those cases have come from the meat packing plant that is there.

      Liked by 1 person

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