When I lay these questions before God I get no answer.
But a rather special sort of “No answer.”
It is not the locked door.
It is more like a silent,
certainly not uncompassionate, gaze.
As though he shook his head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, “Peace, child; you don’t understand.”
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable?
Quite easily, I should think.
All nonsense questions are unanswerable.
How many hours are there in a mile?
Is yellow square or round?
Probably half the questions we ask –
half our great theological and metaphysical problems –
are like that.
~C.S. Lewis from A Grief Observed
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
And now brothers,
I will ask you a terrible question,
and God knows I ask it also of myself.
Is the truth beyond all truths,
beyond the stars, just this:
that to live without him is the real death,
that to die with him the only life?
~Frederick Buechner from The Magnificent Defeat
God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything he knows.
And that is just the point… how the world, moist and beautiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?”
~Mary Oliver from Long Life
This morning, it is impossible to stay a silent observer of the world. I have to say something; I seek out answers to the unanswerable.
Overnight, our farm was covered with a freezing fog resembling a massive sponge soaking up all the light. A chill has returned: both in the air and in ongoing events in the headlines.
There can be no complacency in witnessing this life in progress.
It blusters, rips, drenches, swallows up, buries.
Nothing remains as it was.
Yet here I am, alive.
Awed, a witness to another day.
Called to ask questions and make a comment.
Dying to hear a response.
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