Betty is in her nineties.
“Would you have time for me? I have a couple of questions.”
We sat down and Betty talked about not knowing if she was saved. She talked about having three husbands. She talked about how they all died while they were young.
She talked, I listened.
At one point in our conversation Betty said, “I have trouble with forgiveness.”
When I asked her to explain, she said she had trouble forgiving God.
“God gets your frustration,” I said. Psalm 13, 22, and 88 were read. They are not so much about forgiving God, as they are about being frustrated with God and God’s lack of movement or action in our direction.
Betty agreed she had felt some of those exact feelings toward God the Psalmist penned a long, long time ago.
I looked at her and said, “Betty, what if God said God was sorry for all you have had to endure?”
She looked shocked.
We live in a world with limited knowledge. Many people’s expectations regarding God are high. God is all powerful, all knowing, all present. You can look up arguments about God and suffering easily and you will find those phrases used to ‘discredit’ God and the Christian’s claims of God’s love.
But what if? What if, in our limited understanding of the world in which we all live, God understands our hurts, our frustrations, our doubts and, instead of punishing us, comes along side and says, “I’m sorry you are going through this but I want you to know, I’m not going anywhere. We’ll get through this together.”
What if, in the midst of your questions, doubts, and worries someone came along side and modeled the unconditional love of God by simply being with you and validating your hurts?
If Betty is any indication, it is helpful. She looked at me and said, “You know, for the first time in a long time there is something in my chest which feels hopeful.”
There are of other things Betty and I will talk about, but today we talked about God’s unshakeable love for each of us regardless of how well we love God.
So, would God say, “I’m sorry”?