When we had reached the end of my husband’s cancer treatment, I wrestled with whether to throw antibiotics at a nasty infection–just so my husband could die of brain cancer?! All outcomes seemed equally obscene. I didn’t know what to pray for–but I knew who to pray to. I found myself in front of a God who had become one of us to experience every inch of the suffering we were going through.
Now I knew intimately all the “-ion” words: justification, crucifixion and resurrection, sanctification and redemption. As a theologian I’d taught about all the big doctrines. But I’d never encountered the God behind them. In that moment, I did–and the encounter undid me. I knew someone had been where we now were–and not just anyone, but the Holy One of God. When I asked this One to “behold and bless us,” I knew even before the words came that my prayer had been answered.
This message is adapted from “Belief and Unbelief” written by Martha E. Stortz in the January/February 2012 issue of Gather magazine.