Questions Die Away



I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer.
You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away.
~C.S. Lewis from Till We Have Faces


Today I help greet new and returning 15,000 college students who begin classes this week at my university.  Each one seeks answers to their many difficult questions about life and how to live in this troubled time.

Every day I will see college students who are so consumed by anxiety about the questions in their lives they become immobilized in their ability to move forward through inevitable obstacles and difficulties.  They become so stuck in overwhelming feelings they can’t sleep or eat or think clearly, distracted by their symptoms.  They self-medicate, self-injure and self-hate.  Being unable to nurture themselves or others, they wither like a young tree without roots deep enough to reach the vast reservoir of answers that lies untapped beneath them.  In epidemic numbers, some decide to die, even before life really has fully begun for them.

I grieve for them in their distress.   My role is to help find healing solutions, whether it is counseling therapy, a break from school, or a medicine that may give some form of relief.  My heart knows the ultimate answer is not as simple as the right prescription.

Before the face of God, the questions fall away.

We who are anxious are not trusting a Creator who does not suffer from attention deficit disorder and who is not distracted from His care for us even when we turn away in worry and sorrow.  We magnify our difficult circumstances by staying so tightly into ourselves, unable to look beyond our own eyelashes.  Instead we are to reach higher and deeper, through prayer, through service to others, through acknowledging there is power greater than ourselves who can answer all our unaskable questions.

So we are called to pray for ourselves and for others,  disabling our anxiety and fear and transforming it to gratitude and grace.

No longer withering, no longer deaf to the answers we’ve been given, we just might bloom.



5 thoughts on “Questions Die Away

  1. You have described (and felt) the scourge, the plight (plague) of our young generation today so well, Emily. It is endemic. We all must face it, see it for what it is and try to do whatever we are intellectually, emotionally, spiritually able to do as we encounter each young person suffering this way – and their numbers are becoming legion..
    For now, in the immediate time in their young lives, these students have YOU. You are the first line of diagnosing, understanding and help — the University’s “M.A.S.H:/triage unit.

    Your professional education and training have prepared you and given you the skills to diagnose, treat, ‘mother hen’ when you have time, understand and not judge or condemn. They have probably had more than enough of hurtful judgments, adult hypocrisy, and other actions that have brought them ‘down,’ causing them to be mistrustful and cynical.
    What you are especially able to offer these young people, Emily, is perhaps your greatest unseen asset: the innate ability to see with the eyes of Jesus and to feel and try to understand what their ‘real’ need is, which comes only through trusting in the omniscient heart of Jesus. In effect, dear Emily, you actually become Jesus for them and, perhaps for the first time in their lives, they are given a glance, a promise of hope that they are not alone….

    From your years of experience, Emily, this has taken a toll on you. It will continue to be a burden upon you. But again — like the seeds that I so often mention — it is a risk, a burden that you must knowingly take on because your faith and your acceptance of discipleship will not let you do otherwise.. The Master Gardner and ultimate Healer will do the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Emily, Know I will be praying for you as you do the Master’s work being in the right place at the right time. What a blessing you are for these new students, the returning ones and their parents. You are so using the gifts God has given you. With love and respect,


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