Today has been somewhat challenging.  This morning I officiated a funeral for a 4 month old little girl, who has dealt with health issues since birth.  There just isn’t much to say about a little girl who has spent nearly every moment of her life attached to breathing tubes, feeding tubes and IV’s.  Though I’m sure it appeared today that I was focussing on the thoughts and/or feelings of this little girl’s parents, I was partly addressing my own faith issues.

It only seems “right” to read the 23rd psalm at a funeral.  I’m not sure I’ve been to one that hasn’t had that scripture read.  I even read that scripture today.  It didn’t fit.  Not at all!  Sure, I was able to talk about God being with us and God walking beside us during our “shadow of death.”  I read that scripture while looking at 2 parents who couldn’t even lift their head to look at the tiny casket when they first arrived.  So, I shared how inadequate I felt in this situation.  I want so badly to have the “magic words” that makes it all go away.  That my prayer at the end will make everything better.  That my faith will somehow strengthen their faith.  It just wasn’t happening. 

After reading the 23rd psalm, I read a few passages from psalm 22.  Surprisingly those words seemed much more appropriate.  I didn’t read the entire chapter, but found a few passages that were spot on with how I was feeling.  If my CPE supervisor knows what he’s talking about, those 2 parents (and many others) were probably feeling the same thing.  “My God! My God, why have you left me alone?”  The frist 10 words of that chapter pretty much say it all.  I have no doubt that they felt alone, afraid, hurt, angry, abandoned by God…etc.  Nothing I could say was going to change that.  Did it need changed?  Do they have to suddenly not be angry any more?  Do they need to not look at God and ask “Why?”  I’m confident that God’s shoulders are more than large enough to carry our pain, fear, hurt and yes…our anger towards God. 

Somehow, through the fog of this awful experience, we can find our faith.  We find it because it wasn’t ever really gone in the first place.  We didn’t “lose” our faith.  Perhaps, it was just “misplaced” for a while.  Even in the middle of all the chaos we are moved by the Holy Spirit to seek God’s rescue.  We are called to remember, even in the faintest way, our faith.  We are called to remember who God is.  We are called to remember Psalm 139.  Even the psalmist had moments of total anguish followed by total faith and back again.  Why would we think it should be any different for us? 

Today was a difficult day for me.  God carried me through as God always does…even when I struggle to recognize it.