I have seen the stroke of God’s paintbrush in places around the world. Machu Picchu. The oceans. Diving with sharks. Antigua and the volcanoes. Sunrise on the ocean. Long’s peak in the summer. A falling star on the beach. Northern Wisconsin in the snow. I look out at those wonders and know without a doubt that there is a God.
I have seen a lot of darkness in the people of my life. I have seen a lot of abuse, a lot of betrayal, and a lot of evil. People have hurt me and I have stood by while watching people get hurt. I observe these events. I live these circumstances and I know without a doubt that there is no God.
I had formed the belief that God’s creations were meant to be beautiful, but human’s were inherently ugly. That, oceans could remain sacred and stunning while human desires released a poison into the waters turning the glistening blue to a solid black. There was so much pain. There was so much suffering. There was so much agony eating away at everyone around me. Suicide. Murder. Addiction. Abuse. Depression. Anger. Drowning and tangled. Strangled and broken.
Then there was Andy,
And he is gone. The one beautiful soul that I knew is gone.
Now, I don’t know what to do because I feel like my soul is under attack and I used to believe that souls could not be touched. I used to believe that souls were sacred to the person in whom they were housed, that God would help guard them, that a force field surrounded them, and that no matter the amount of sin or pain or abuse or hurt that would happen around the soul it would be eternally protected. Then, Andy died and now I know without a doubt that souls aren’t always guarded.
Because there is a crack in my façade between my eyes. It continues straight down my middle all the way to the center of the earth making me two parts. One part here, one part forever shattered into a million hollow pieces. The pieces being frozen fragments of the millions of tears shed starting the moment he was taken. How could someone without a touch of evil be the one stolen? How could God let one of the few people who never hurt me and I never hurt be stolen? How could such a fragile part of my existence, the faith I had in humankind, be the thing that God went after?
A boy. He was alone and afraid. And I am now two parts. I refuse to become whole because I still have a million more shards of glass to cry from my glazed over eyes, tears whose cuts remind me that I am still alive. Sometimes you need to bleed, to hurt beyond what is imaginable to truly understand the sacrifice it takes to realize you are alive.
It is my soul, which is responsible for my inability to stop crying. It is my soul, which tells me I am a beautiful person and he was a beautiful person and there are more beautiful persons in this infinitely beautiful world. It tells me to look past the wonders of nature and deep into the beings around me, especially the ones whom are also under attack. It is my soul, which tells me to place my hand over my heart. I feel that beating in my chest and I know without a doubt that there is a God.
Because after all the evil I have seen and all the unexplainable hurt I have felt, I know a God that is able to light a candle in my damp, miserable casing which extinguishes all memory of the darkness I once knew.