Questions and Answers

I love gmail.  They should pay me to say that, but they do not.  I love them all the same.  And one reason is that I do not delete my email.  It is all there, in the analogues of time, waiting for me to search.  And so it was today, when I was looking for something completely different, that I found a quote from 2007,

“I think there is an important distinction between wanting questions answered, wanting answers, and wanting someone to answer.”

Wanting questions answered…

To me, this deals with the details of an event.  What happened, when, who was involved.  It can also deal with some of what people were thinking, what specifically motivated their actions, what their hope was in the choices they made.

Wanting answers…

I think that when you want answers, you are predominantly dealing with the question of why.  People may not be able to answer to your satisfaction…in fact probably will not be able to answer to your satisfaction.  I try to address this mostly to God, because He will know what I’m really asking…and He will be able to satisfy my heart like no one else can…even if it is like He answered Job.

In the book of Job, after Job has lost everything and finally turned to God wanting answers, God answers from a whirlwind, with questions of His own, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?”  It is one of my favorite sections of the Bible, in which God basically puts the smack down.  Still, I believe it is a merciful and loving reply, because in that place of wanting answers, often the things we think we want are not the things we need.

Wanting someone to answer…

This may be the most difficult position, because no person can fully meet this desire.  None of us can redeem ourselves.  It is what set’s Christianity apart from every other religion…in every other religion, people try to make up for their faults.  But in Christianity, we can only fall into the arms of grace.  The same grace that flows down from the cross to forgive us from the things we’ve done and heal us from the things done to us is the same grace that forgives those who have hurt us.  So when we want someone to answer, we will always come up empty handed until we take that desire to the Cross, where Jesus answered for us all, for all we have done, for all that has been done contrary to His love.  Somehow, someway, Jesus makes up the difference.  He has to.  Because those others, the ones we want to answer for what they’ve done…they can’t afford to pay.