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There’s a Crack in Everything



Back in Lent, I wrote about putting God on trial for the seeming absences and failure to act in my life. It wasn’t the easiest Lenten journey by any stretch of the imagination! I have frequently enjoyed a closeness with God in my life that has provided solace, peace, refuge, and even joy when not much in my life provided that. I would cry out to God, longing for His comforting presence during Lent, and to be honest, it’s been awhile since I’ve felt that closeness. And then there was fear and trepidation as I, a mere human, dared to question God Almighty claiming his failure and abandonment. Fear because if God is not a God of love, could I survive such accusations? Fear because what if I was right? What if God cared for everyone but me and was merely using me as a pawn for his glory? What then?

When I embarked on this journey, one thing was very clear – I could not do this alone. I needed people to hold me in prayer and accompany me on this dark journey. I needed people to hold onto the truths that with my head I know are true but my heart was questioning. I took a risk and shared with a few people in my church community who did not know my story along with those who did. It’s been interesting starting fresh in a new community. This community is incredibly welcoming and caring. But they have not journeyed with me for long. They do know the many twists and turns my life has taken over the 9 years I have lived here, the struggles I have faced, and the person I am. However, if this was to be the community that would walk with me through this time of questioning and darkness, I needed them to know a little bit. So I sent a prayer request note to them.

I don’t think I really have answers. Nor do I think I am done asking the questions. I still don’t have that warm fuzzy feeling that God is present back in my life. My days are still not easy.

Instead, something surprising has come out of this period. I don’t feel as horribly alone.

To understand this, one needs to know that I feel so very alone most of the time. I’m always managed to make friends and have fulfilling relationships. I’m often around people. But I have always yearned for that deep understanding from someone who has “been there”. I don’t know anyone who has lost relationships with their family (especially much younger siblings!) because they spoke out about the abuse. I don’t know anyone who found out they have another sibling by an email of a friend of a friend who had no idea that I had no idea. I don’t know anyone who was only told that their grandmother was dying on the condition that they wouldn’t call her. I don’t know anyone who has withstood a gruelling cross-examination – one that I have heard from several crown attorneys that it was one of the worst they have seen. In other words, I don’t know anyone who seems to really get me. People who are in my life catch glimpses of my story and every time it feels like dropping a bomb.

letting my faith community into my life has not really changed this. I still don’t know anyone who has been through what I’ve been through, who is steps ahead of me in the healing journey.

But – I know people who have deeply questioned God and wondered where God is in suffering. People who have journeyed with others in horrendous situations and have trouble understanding that God is good. People who have had periods of time without sensing God’s presence. People who have also felt like a pawn for God’s glory. People who still don’t have answers. People who still have faith in God despite not having answers. People who find strength in the absurd – in a God who we don’t understand most of the time. People who have felt alone in their questioning of God. People who have different stories than mine but who feel they put on a mask or drop a bomb into conversations. People who also dodge the typical getting to know you questions because they doubt people really want to know.

Leonard Cohen puts it really well – There’s a Crack in Everything.

we are all broken people living in a broken world. things happen that shouldn’t happen. and for whatever reason, God doesn’t intervene. Injustice continues to wreak havoc in our lives. Children suffer at the hands of those who should care for them.

There’s a crack in everything.

But that isn’t the end of the story. That’s how the light gets in.




  1. john sullivan
    May 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Elizabeth another great post. I have come to believe that God does not intervene, but interacts with us.

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