Why is a prison.
Why boxes me in and locks me up.
Why convinces me to seek an explanation rather than seeking Jesus.
My daughter interrupts my weighty words. The animals she holds are talking to me. I’m polite and ask their names. In her best animal voice she replies, “Hippo, Lion, and Rhino.” Well, of course.
She tucks each one inside the red cage and snaps the bars together. She spins the animals locked inside, tells me to watch them play. All I can see is dizziness, endless confusion, anger mixed with deep longing, and an empty desire for explanation. In a convincing tone, she informs me her animals love their cage.
“Oh really?” I ask.
She argues that they love it because it’s their home. I'm pelted with the reality that I’ve lived in a cage for way too long. I’ve made myself a home within bars of reason and logic.
I’ve been deceived into thinking this search for why was enjoyable.
I’ve been deceived into thinking this search for why was safe.
I was not made to live inside a cage, and neither were the animals. She decides to release them and as I watch her fold down each side, I notice that the walls lay completely flat. Collapsed, deflated. That’s how I felt when God let my why fall flat. He left it there unanswered, void of any explanation. It resembled failure, hinted abandonment. But when the walls of reason were flattened, I was set free.
I recall that this red cage belongs with her brother’s rescue helicopter; it’s for transporting animals to a place of refuge. It’s temporary yet necessary. God used my why to carry me to the cross. He knew that Jesus is the only explanation that can truly cover any unanswered why. He knew understanding His love for me was my only shot at freedom.
As my girl runs off to play with her brother, I wonder if she will ever ask why. Will she ever question the pain that interrupts life? Will He intercept her why like a rescue mission, too? I’m asking these questions and other ones too, as I watch her play, happy and carefree. Lost in my thoughts, I realize how important it is that I learn this well… for my sake and for hers.