The breeze is cool to my legs. I prefer wearing shorts until it snows. Our deck sits in the shadows of the oak-lined creek and the sun won’t grace it with warmth until 9:00 a.m. It’s only 7. Thin clouds decorate the sky: it will be a beautiful day here. But not everywhere. In the Caribbean people are sorting through the “day after” Irma, Floridians are jittery of the “day of” the eye, while the southeastern coast of the U.S. waits with nervous anticipation of the “day before.”
Often during times like this, there are the questions of “why?” What causes these sorts of things? One often heard answer has to do with God’s opinions of, and actions toward the people in harms way. That one never works for me, and frankly is ultimately tone deaf to people in pain and is simply a way for the commentator to feel slightly better in the middle of a strained and scary situation, as if we, based on our actions, are in control of what happens to us.
This morning, in between watching LIVE updates of the hurricane, I am reading “In the Shelter” by Padriag O’Tuama. The title alone feels appropriate. I find hope in a poem he has written called, “Narrative theology.” Perhaps you will too.
“And I said to him: Are there answers to all of this?
And he said: The answer is in a story and the story is being told.
And I said: But there is so much pain
And she answered, plainly: Pain will happen.
Then I said: Will I ever find meaning?
And they said: You will find meaning
where you give meaning.
The answer is in a story and the story isn’t finished.”
So this morning I wish my legs were warmer, my friends and family were nearer and Irma would go away. I have control over only one of these things. So I grab a blanket, drink my coffee, say a prayer and remember the story isn’t yet finished.