Friday, September 16
Sometimes there are no answers.........
Maybe I should re-phrase that to read "Sometimes there are no GOOD answers".

The first version, although expressed countless times by countless people, is part of an away message of mine on AIM. My favorite daughter's favorite book-du-jour is Eldest, a fantasy tale written by wise-beyond-his-years sophomore author, Christopher Paolini (wrote his first novel in the series, Eragon at only 15). Rachel--btw, my ONLY daughter ;)--downloaded a screensaver that scrolled through a series of quotations by different characters in the book. The quotes were intriguing and inspirational, and yes, Eldest has been added to the mile-high stack of books I'm "getting to" soon...well, more accurately, eventually....

Saphira is the character to whom this particular quote is attributed, and I thought "That dragon is pretty smart for a dragon." So, along with some other quotes I liked, I posted it as an "away".

For those of us who chat, we often reply to each other's away or profile messages, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. I got an indirect "dis" from a friend and it flew all over me (I'm smilin' here). Quoting from another unnamed person, she wrote "It's not that there are NO answers, it's that there are so many answers." She went on to add that she'd hate to live in a world that had no answers...somethin' to that effect...blah, blah, blah. Obviously, the comment got under my skin, exactly how, I couldn't put my finger on.

But then an example of "no answers" hit me square in the face, and at least for me, it explained the sub-dermal irritation I was feeling.

Someone very dear to me is struggling in marriage right now. Short of a miracle, it's not gonna make it. Bottom line, her husband wants out and there's not much she can do to stop him. She and I have talked for hours, and it breaks my heart when she asks "Why is it so hard for him to love me?" "How can he do this to me, our children?" What are the answers to those questions? No good ones I can think of. When I hear the pain in her voice, my inward, defensive response becomes visceral--I'd love to beat the ever-lovin' crap out of him (If I thought it would help, I'd try). But she loves him and that response isn't exactly productive, let alone Godly. So I listened and encouraged and tried not to resort to "Jesus speak" too much...but I was still grasping at the "right things" to say or do. I felt like there was some answer that was eluding me........

So, I called a pastor friend who I was certain would impart some great wisdom, the "right" things to say when a wife is facing--but fighting--imminent divorce. Frustratingly, however, I couldn't have been more disappointed; he offered little in the way of "right words to say". I'm not sure if his lack of advice was due to confidentiality (he counseled this couple) or because he's seen failing marriages a thousand times before and he didn't anticipate this one making it....whatever the reason, I was still left feeling there were no answers I could offer this precious friend. BUT, still feeling an answer, although ever elusive, was out there.

And then, BAM! I got an answer, a reminder of something simple, something I already knew but forgot, maybe because of its simplicity. Not "many" answers, just THE answer...the right answer, that until this point had eluded my grasp. And it came through another Casting Crowns song (no wonder I'm loving the CD, maybe it IS revolutionary ;) ). Imagine my delight when, on the day I bought this CD...the very day I had gotten no stinkin' answers from my pastor friend, a few days following the "many answers" comment from my IM buddy...that I began to hear the words of a song I had never heard before, and received a well-timed answer from the God who STILL speaks, giving me just what I needed and beautifully so. When you read the lyrics, you'll see why I was blown away--

The love of her life is drifting away / They’re losing the fight for another day
The life that she's known is falling apart / A fatherless home, a child’s broken heart
You're holding her hand / You're straining for words / You're trying to make sense of it all /
She's desperate for hope / Darkness clouding her view / She's looking to you

Just love her like Jesus / Carry her to Him / His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don't need the answers / To all of life's questions

Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus / Love her like Jesus

I am so thankful for this God who loves me enough to speak to ME, sometimes rather loudly, and sometimes in a still, small voice. As I often tell my children (and obviously need to be reminded myself), "God gives us two ears and one mouth so we'll listen twice as much as we speak!"

  Into the pensieve on Friday, September 16, 2005
  Your thoughts, please (7)

At October 09, 2006, Blogger dan said...

I have absolutely no answer for this post. :)

And what the heck is "sub-dermal irritation"? Sounds like a geography term. lol.

Okay... so I don't really have anything to say other than: I WANNA WIN A PRIZE!!!

Hope you had a nice vacation.

At October 09, 2006, Blogger Malissa said...

MMM! I love Casting Crowns. Their "Who am I?" song is so touching.

You're right. So often there are no good answers and even the "right" answers leave hard things to grapple with.

I so am with you on beating the ever loving crap out of stupid men that hurt their families! But of course you're right--that isn't godly.

(hey! my comments was SOOOOOOOO much better than Dan's);)

At October 09, 2006, Blogger Pamela said...

I walked away from my first marriage... and there was nothing at the time that would have made me change my mind.

Jesus doesn't force us to love him -- and we can't force people to love us back.

I'm impressed at how you were open to let Jesus speak to you -- and then through you.

I hope she finds happiness --

At October 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so not here for the prize. Your current post got me interested. Thank you for the reminder -- it was just what I needed today -- thanks for still speaking.
Enjoy the time away!

At October 11, 2006, Blogger Catez said...

Well I'm glad I came back into your archives to read this.

It has made me think of different situations where I have felt lost for words (a rare thing some would say). I remember when I was going through a very difficult time some years ago and I read Socrates Apology. So here's Socrates, about to be executed by being forced to drink hemlock, and he is still talking, still hoping, still challenging people to look for the better things in life. It wasn't what he said but the fact that he was saying it under those circumstances that inspired and encouraged me. Not what I would have expected to be helpful - but it was. I have a fondness for Socrates now - even though I couldn't quote you a sentence from memory.

Sometimes I want to advise and I don't have the advice. But I have learned about being there. I have learned because others did it for me. Just sitting with some-one in silence can be so much better than a thousand words sometimes. Together in his presence. What I have often appreciated too is when I know some-one wants to help. It isn't what they say but the fact that they are thoughtful enough to try. Because knowing what to say in times of grief can be difficult.

Great post Robin. Blogging can become so much about the latest post, and yet there is so much in a persons archives that is valuable.

At October 11, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

did the couple make it? Was there "an answer"?

At October 20, 2006, Blogger Robin said...

Dan...under my skin. Had a great vacation. You didn't stand a chance with the must've tanked early :).

Malissa...a touch of "not sweet" again...I like that side of you!

Pamela, some day I'd love to hear your whole story, it seems like you've done a lot of livin'.

LCO, you could've fooled me, but I'm glad you discovered my place :).

Catez, wow......GREAT thoughts here (why I love reading you). Our response to circumstance is telling, and it makes me stop to think about what I often "tell" :/. I so agree with what you said: "Just sitting with some-one in silence can be so much better than a thousand words sometimes. Thanks for a considered response.

Alchemist, no, the couple didn't make it, the divorce will be final this week, I guess. The "answer" in this case had nothing to do with anything I could offer my friend to fix things...I really saw God calling me to an action of love. I sooo wanted to see God use these painful circumstances to change the wife AND the husband...I thought it might be "what it took" to break them, humble them, cause them to cry out to Him. For a while, she was searching, praying, seeking God. He became resolute in his "right" to leave her b/c they "never had a connection".

But, as time went on, she became used to the idea of divorce and is pursuing all kinds of things now (sadly, many destructive that will eventually hurt her :( ). She's not seeking God, her ex isn't makes me sad for both of them b/c they have such a vice grip on the world, but you know what? I still love them. Yep, not just her, but him, too. Which is VERY difficult and I've had to trust God to direct what that looks like. I've had a glimpse into what it resembles; it's an exercise in trusting God's word and what He desires, not my natural inclination.

lol, of course I write much b/c you know who I'm talking about....


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Married to my college sweet-heart :)...three GREAT kids I'm not selling to the circus today...I LOVE to laugh (& smile often) to read & cook, hate to shop (unless the store is very small and doesn't leave me dazed and confused). I'm scared of flying so although I'd like to travel more, I don't.

I've been pleasantly surprised to find life in my 40s to be an amazing time of transformation & discovery--of self, others, creation and the Creator.

Here's a partial explanation for my Blog title. I think it'd be cool if they really existed.

A Pensieve is a stone basin.... [One] can extract his or her own memories and place them in the Pensieve, especially to relieve the mind when it becomes too flooded with information. Anyone can examine the memories in the Pensieve, which also allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the memories stored within...

A Pensieve first appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...

For the complete explanation, see
my 2/17/06 post.

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