When I first created this image, I thought: “Wow, this is probably one of the best works I’ll ever create.” Truthfully, it was a part of the beginning. The idea was there, the distinction between Heaven and Earth. The thought of how far apart and how close we are. One tied to the other, though I haven’t seen the other beyond looking at the stars.
Traditionally, we see Heaven as where God is, Earth, where we are. This piece brings the two together in such a way that the strange light that shines on one also falls on the other. Connected.
In other words, God can see what happens here on Earth, which brings me back to the question that Charlotte brought up yesterday in response to “The Release” Project short film. A girl was molested by her father when she was young. As an adult, she had trouble dealing with the reality of it all. Memories haunted her, she hated her father, she abused herself physically.
An angel appears in human form, in short, asking her to let go of her anger towards her father even though it was justified. Her anger towards him hurt her more than anyone else. Before the angel left (disappeared) he healed the self-inflicted wounds on her forearms.
Charlotte, greeting us all from the U.K., essentially asked if God could send an angel at anytime, why didn’t He send the angel to stop her father from molesting her at the time he was doing this? The angel showed up several years later, long after this tragedy stopped occurring, the damage was done.
I promised to type out a response to Charlotte’s question. As I did, it immediately turned into a short story from a perspective I had not considered writing from. I will try to get this short story published soon, so I cannot (aaahhh) share it with you all now. However, I can address the question in the boring sort of way I tried to avoid the first time: a straight answer. Straight answers can be harsh, tougher to swallow than fictional stories, so I have to warn you.
I had the same question several years ago. Where is God at the very moment something really horrific happens to us? In short 😦 He is right here, witnessing the entire scene. How do I know, you ask? Well, I went looking for answers to my own question and the book of Genesis came to mind.
Most of us have heard the “story” of Cain and Abel. Yes? Cain murdered his brother, Abel, because Abel’s offering was accepted by God while Cain’s offering was rejected. I imagine this is not where this whole jealousy thing started. Abel may have had an annoying habit (in Cain’s mind) of showing him up and this offering incident was the last straw.
Directly to the question, where was God? Well, a few verses before Cain kills Abel, Cain is actually talking to God. God is warning him about being jealous, letting his anger dictate his actions, and so on. And then…here’s the problem: God “leaves” to let Cain make up his own mind on what he wants to do, aka free will. Cain chooses to give in to his negative emotions and kill Abel.
Then…here’s where I got annoyed, God shows up afterwards asking Cain where Abel is. Yes, God knows Abel is dead, this is a moment for Cain to confess. No, Cain brushes Him off and that’s when God tells Cain what his punishment is.
The same thing with Adam and Eve. He gives them the rule, leaves, they eat off the Tree anyway, He comes back asking if they ate off the Tree knowing full well they would before they even did it. As a side note, snakes don’t talk, but demons can possess…animals. In this case, a snake was used as a physical body. Otherwise, no, snakes just don’t talk to people out of the blue.
I apologize. That was long and boring. However, the point is, God allows us to make our own choices without interference “most” of the time. Why? Because if God stopped everyone from doing wrong all the time how do we know we would choose do what’s right on our own? Our willingness to do what’s right has to be natural, genuinely from our hearts. Our tears fall because so many people choose to hurt others in so many different ways. 😦 And, many times, we feel powerless to stop them.
How do we fight? Martin Luther King, Jr. used peace, a strong message, and sacrificed his own life to help others. In general, someone takes a stand. They put the cares of others in front of their own. A burden is on your heart that you can’t shake and you decide to battle the problem in your own way. The clouds don’t break apart to reveal God coming to the rescue. Instead, you show up with a determined heart and…somehow…God accomplishes what He wants done through you.
I already hear the grumbling, “Eric, this can’t be true. If it is, I don’t like it.” Join the club. I don’t like it either, but I’ve learned in life that the truth is not what you want it to be all the time. You have to deal with what you’ve got.
I’ll end with this: Does anyone listen to Joyce Meyer? I love listening to Joyce Meyer teach the Bible especially when I need a boost. But she was horribly mistreated and molested by her dad. 😦 She tells the “story.” She grew up angry, bitter, didn’t trust men, etc. Rightfully so. Ultimately, God challenged her to forgive her father and take care of him during the ending stages of his life.
She is stronger than me. She did. She forgave him, she took care of him. Can you imagine his reaction? Recognizing what he had done to her, knowing he didn’t deserve the love she showed to him. I think it changed him for the better and that’s what God wanted to happen. But Joyce had to take the first step in the right direction to start fixing the wrong. Tough. Tough. Tough. When she told us this, I had to ask God: Why? It was another step into making Joyce in His image. In this, we see a picture of how God loves everyone. Unconditionally. I don’t know if I can love like this. I don’t know.
I named the title of my short story, “Why Didn’t You Save Me?” Perhaps, I can add on to the concept as the week goes.
Eric Christopher Jackson