>Me: This doesn’t make sense.
God: I get that a lot.
God: It makes sense to me.
Me: I’m not finding that helpful at the moment. How do these terrible things happen to people? Why do they happen to small children?
God: It would take me a really long time to explain every part of my plan to you.
Me: I’m on leave. Sometimes they sleep and I can skip the chores. I have time.
God: More time than that.
God: Wasn’t there something you wanted to ask for? Besides the Answer to Everything?
Me: Ah, yes. I want him to be healthy. You know, now.
God: That sounds an awful lot like a demand. Didn’t they teach you the right way to pray after 13 years of Catholic School?
Me: Yes. I should say, if it’s your will. Or I should ask for courage or strength or something. I really don’t care about the right way. I’m just saying it like it is. I want what I want.
God (sighing): You and 4 billion other people.
Me: But what *I* want is RIGHT.
God: I know you think that.
Me: Are you saying it’s wrong?
God: I’m not saying that either. I’m just saying that if you make demands, you may end up disappointed. At the very least, you’re not understanding the way this all works.
Me: You know, this is exactly why people stop believing. There’s no good answer you can give me for why a two-year-old would get sick.
God: I know you think that.
God: Listen, that’s why it’s called faith. You have to hang on even in the tough times. You have to believe that there’s a plan.
Me: Yeah, but you know what? I don’t. There can’t be any reason for this.
God: I didn’t say there was a reason. I said there was a plan.
Me: What do you mean?
God: People have come up with all kinds of crazy ideas, like that there are reasons for everything. Sometimes things just happen. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a plan I have to help you through.
Me: This oughta be good…
God: That’s why you were taught to ask for courage, strength, love, wisdom… all that… instead of making demands. My plan is to be there to help you out when bad things happen. Stop looking for reasons.
Me: Hmpf. (thinking…) This sucks, you know.
God: I know.
Me: No one needs this.
God: No. But I’m with you.
Me: Doesn’t feel like it. Feels a lot more like you’re sitting there watching, knowing how awful this is and not doing anything about it.
God: I’m doing plenty.
Me: Oh, really?
God: I’ve sent you talented doctors. I’ve surrounded you with family and friends who love you. And the best thing?
Me: (waiting, arms crossed, frowning)
God: I’ve given you hope.
Me: (big, shaky sigh) What if all of that isn’t good enough?
God: It will be.
Me: You haven’t heard the last of me, you know.
God: I certainly hope not.
Me: And I’m not entirely sure I believe any of this.
God: Oh, I think you do.
Me: Always with the smug self-assurance.
God: Many millennia of practice.
Me: All right. Well. I’ve got phone calls to make, diapers to change, boys to snuggle, tears to shed…
God: You go ahead. I’ll be here when you come back.