I must be honest with you. I really have nothing in my brain to write about. Just to be sure though, hold on and let me check again. . . nope, nothing. Except, maybe, there is one thing, but it is going to sound kind of strange.
There is an owl that lives in the woods just beyond my bedroom window. He sits atop a towering, dead pine tree and he hoots.
He hoots a lot.
Sometimes he hoots late into the night, asking me the same question over and over and over again.
“Who? Who? Who?”
I don’t know how to answer his question.
In fact, I don’t know how to answer a vast number of questions. I especially draw a blank when the questions are perpetually perplexing. For instance, why do seemingly normal people lose any semblance of intelligence when entering a carpool line? Or how much effort would it take for some people to change out of their pajamas before shopping at Walmart? Or why do some people, often very young, randomly get cancer and for no apparent reason, die?
I just don’t know.
I guess maybe some things are just never meant to be figured out.
I guess maybe this fact makes me uncomfortable, even angry.
I was cleaning the house the other day and ran across last week’s newspaper opened to the crossword puzzle. My middle son had attempted to work it but stopped half-way through. He is, quite literally by definition of his IQ, a genius, but he stinks at spelling. Looking at it, I thought about how much I wish my life was like a crossword puzzle. I wish it were made up of areas I could solve, especially when one area intersects with another. I yearn sometimes for even one square inch of my existence to make sense and to be able see that, if I fill in an area with the correct answer, what happens next will be logical. But that is not how life works, is it? Life is not the crossword puzzle. Life is the whole newspaper. It is the tragic headlines, and the birth announcements, and the gossip section, and the obituaries. Life unfolds, it doesn’t stand still and beg to be solved. And so, when I think about all the questions that lack answers I go back to that owl clutching the dead tree and to that one question. “Who?”
Not what, when, or how?
Who is a person.
Who do I think Who is?
For me, Who is God and Who is Christ and Who is very, very good.
I must remember this no matter what other questions leave me stumped.
Who pursues me, and Who loves me, and Who is the desire of my heart even when I think I desire something else.
Who chose to be swaddled in a manger and Who gave His life on a cross.
Who is weaving all things together.
I met a man a few months ago that is dying, he is very old, but his brain is still very sharp. I felt foolish but I asked him, “How are you doing?” The answer he gave me was unexpected and profound. He said he had lived his whole life trying to figure out the right things to do, building a family, working, and that he had honestly been very afraid of “the end.” But, that through his illness, he had had a revelation that there is no end. There is only the beginning of the beginning. He is looking forward to meeting The Answer to all of his questions.
All of his intersections are leading to one place of Truth and to one Word.
A puzzle solved through Hope.
So, I guess I had more to write about than I thought.
I’m sitting on my back porch, with Christmas lights twinkling, while I’m finishing up this article on a Sunday afternoon. The day is beginning to fade and turn into night and almost as if on cue my buddy begins to hoot. He is like a preacher calling out from the wilderness of creation. I can’t help but smile, thankful that he is obedient enough to ask the question.
“But ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky and they will tell you. . .in His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7 & 10.