From chapter 20 Shaken

January 19, 2024


“If I hear one more sermon about life and light at the end of the tunnel, going through the valley or the words ‘it shall come to pass’, I will literally throw up.” I found myself saying out loud what had been on my mind for a while during a conversation I had with Fr Simatende who relentlessly encouraged and prayed for me.

“With blessings, first is the burden. We go through pain to live to see the blessing,” he responded graciously in a pious sort of way.

I stared at him blankly and wondered whether anyone had anything to say about what exactly goes on between those unequal places of blessing and burden. The pain I feel is not transitory, with no timeline or destination. It is a constant throb that reminds me of its presence and my loss. There is no remission from it however much I try to ignore it. Has it ever occurred to anyone that the burden I carry may be too great and too heavy for me to bear that I may simply collapse under its weight? Has anyone understood that the pain maybe unbearable for me, and that it is possible to die in that infamous tunnel, which clearly the whole world knows about but secretly hopes they never find the entrance? I am reminded of something I read in one of the countless inspirational books I used to read which described how a bridge is designed for transitory load and not static load.

‘Lord, did You not promise me a transitory load that I could carry, and one that I could bear? Is there any possibility for me to say without sounding blasphemous that You may in fact have miscalculated my load? How many more other miscalculations are there, Lord? How many did not make it through that tunnel or that valley of death, how many Lord? I cry out to you my God, grasping for any kind of response, but all I hear is silence. Why, Lord, have you turned your face from me? Am I alive because You looked at me? Say something, Lord, say anything.’