In the Los Angeles neighborhood where I grew up there is an intersection where four streets meet. The area in the middle is a wide circle and when I was a child I dreamed I was standing there, waiting for God. Someone had told me He would be passing through that spot, the place where four streets meet. The dream is as vivid to me now as it was when I woke up from it. I walk in that neighborhood often these days and I always cross through that circle. I slow down, remember, and feel again the need of that young girl to know God — to wait for Him, to find Him, to ask Him for answers.

As the world watches in horror the death and destruction that one vile human being can cause, as we see images of Ukrainian citizens fleeing from their homes, their country, I feel like millions of us are waiting for God. Where is God when this kind of barbarism can go unchecked? This morning I saw a photograph of a six year old girl, killed in an explosion at a grocery store in Mariupol, Ukraine. Her parents, covered in their child’s blood, said, “Show Putin this.”

But we know he won’t care. I have no idea what George W. Bush saw years ago when he said that he’d looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul, saw someone who was “trustworthy.” The world at large has now looked into Putin’s eyes and seen a soulless monster who can only be trusted to leave heartbreak and devastation in his wake. So where is God? I thought of that as I passed through that space between four streets yesterday, as I brushed past the memory of the child I once was, the child who believed with all her heart that God was always there, always watching.

Faith is hard. It’s probably one of the hardest challenges in life. Because so often it feels like God has turned His back, like He doesn’t care. What’s also hard is to wrestle with the reality that Man’s cruelty sometimes goes unchecked, as if God giving Mankind free will was a handshake with the Devil. I have no answers for this, only the same questions I had as a child.

Elie Wiesel wrote about the fracturing of his faith, and its redemption, while in the camps during the Holocaust. He writes of seeing a young boy hung from a gallows, still alive as they filed past. A man behind him asked, “Where is God?” Wiesel heard a voice inside him say, “He is right here, He is hanging from the gallows.” Ultimately, he clung to his faith even though he had no answers as to why God would allow such massive, unthinkable horror to unfold.

This world is full of cruelty and miracles. Sometimes they exist side by side. Faith means that we keep holding to the belief in miracles even when none are in sight, even when the cold blue eyes of a monster scan the carnage he’s wrought with pride in what he’s done. Even when the pain of human beings who have done nothing to deserve this fate is unbearable.

I return to that spot in the road often because I’m still waiting for God to show up.

12 Responses to WAITING FOR GOD

  1. Deborah says:

    Thank you Patti
    I needed This today.
    Many days in these times feel hopeless.
    You say it so eloquently.

  2. Bill Hayden says:

    Wise words

    I think humans continue to cling because it is sometimes all we have.

    I don’t. If god does create miracles so we need to continue our worship, then god also must create pain we then must NOt worship!

    To me belief or non belief are a persons own business. That said pushing it on others is the real sin

    Thanks, as All, for saying things to motivate my brain to think and engage, Patti

    As I travel further on my Dementia Train 🚂 Journey, I makes me feel a bit better to know people like yourself are also on the train 🚂 to brighten up the more frequently happening Dark Tunnels

    • Dan Horn says:

      Love your writing…you always make me think!

      One day I hope you will come to inspire our students at St. Genevieve HS.

      • Toni Rio says:

        Your words are a gift of God. I believe. Our humanity is our connection. Like light and darkness and the evil that lives and drives Putin and many like him, is as your story says, sometimes there are no answers. And do we wait … for the God in us.

  3. Very well written. Bringing truth in honest words is difficult at best. This question has been the topic for centuries but does not minimize the suffering and pain that one man can give to a whole country. He has found a place with Hitler, he said the very same things to preserve freedom to the people that he is punishing. These are the same tactics his government did in the past to Czec. And the rest of the Balkans. These people have no faith except in money and power. The hard part is to realize we watched it unfold. Donald Trump was a part of this in some way, it scared me then and then to hear him say “how brilliant Putin was with his strategy nailed it.”
    Yes this a very good article that brings forth the questions many of us are asking. The best pat is that glimpse of hope of what Wiesel heard, that quiet voice. Great ending. Thank you

  4. Thank you 🤗♥️🤗 Elie was right !!!

  5. Dan Horn says:

    I love your writing, Patti; you always make me think.

    One day I hope you will visit our school and inspire the students at St. Genevieve H.S.

  6. Margaret Nagle says:

    You are a profound and beautiful writer Patti. Thank you for this.

  7. Tim Daughtry says:

    Been awhile since I’ve read you but this piece reminds me how much I’ve missed your voice. You write as one of us. You’re a celebrity but never separated from your readers. I feel like my friend has resurfaced. I’m still waiting for God too. Doesn’t diminish my faith. Strengthens it. Would love to hear a few words of encouragement from you.

  8. Tim Daughtry says:

    Thank you

  9. Gabby says:

    The Bible says that the only way to get to God is through His son, Jesus. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and life. No one comes to the Father without me”. I hope you find this useful.

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