As I’ve said before in my wrestling on this: The struggle of faith in the midst of pain and suffering is not, I do not think, a question of God’s existence (though it may come to that), as it is a question of God’s goodness. It is not a question, it does not seem to me, of his power, but of his will. It is not a question, it seems to me, of God as sovereign but of God as Father. Is the God that exists, good? Does he want to do me good? Does he love me?
The locus of the satisfaction of these questions is not the mind, but the heart. So if Pascal: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing,” then so it is that the heart requires answers that reason may not, often does not, touch. And what does this heart want? Certainly the relief of the sorrow. The promise of hope. The incarnate embrace.
But what if these do not come? What if sorrow continues? What if hope is not given? What if there is little else but silence and solitude? How does one continue?
One hardly knows how to answer these things. But perhaps one may glean wisdom from one’s own daughters. We sat at dinner last evening. I’d read a portion of Matthew from the children’s New Testament I’d gotten from my maternal grandparents when I was only slightly older than Sofie, more than thirty years ago. (It is one I will without question pass down to my daughters.) And Sofie began to remind me of an important truth: “Daddy,” she said, “Jesus is in our hearts.” “Yes, he is,” I said.
She then turned to Delaina and clarified, “Jesus is in Daddy’s heart, and Baby Jesus is in your heart and Baby Jesus is in my heart.” There is a fine, Talladega-Nights-theological-point there, I am sure, but it will take me a while to divine it.
So, I suppose that if God may ordain praise from the mouths of infants and children, it may well be that he can also through them bring his revelation to the sorrowing heart. A heart which needs the Gospel and the Jesus Prayer so as to bring Christ into the heart.