Finding God in the Darkness
I spent the majority of my summer standing on the corner of “God’s will” and “sometimes things just happen.” I completed a 10-week unit of CPE at WFU Baptist Hospital, but I felt more like Jacob at Peniel. I wrestled with God and her mercy, her ﬁckle presence, and her selective suffering. One of my assigned units was Acute Pediatrics and I have yet to wrap my mind around how such a wonderful God in all his splendor could allow helpless children to endure such great pains.
Day after day, it seemed as if God chose to contain her power at the most inopportune times. A Type-A personality like mine needed answers, and I needed them immediately. But there were no answers, there were no methods, and on most days, there were no happy endings. Walking into a room as an advocate of the Divine when I couldn’t even pinpoint God’s position for myself was a balancing act I was not prepared for. But in the midst of my uncertainty and frustration, I found God in a whole new way. Those white-washed walls became sacred spaces, broken families invited me to walk alongside them, and death was no longer the worst thing in the world.
Post-CPE I still don’t have the answers to the whys of life and death, but I do know—most assuredly—that my heart is with the people. I know that I was put here to ﬁnish the work that Jesus left behind for all of us to do. CPE, much like divinity school, shook my foundation, and for that I’m thankful. I learned to invoke a sanctuary in the rawness of sickness and sadness. Not from a pulpit looking down on folks, but side by side in the thick of suﬀering, grasping bloody hands and my shoulder being a haven for tear-stained faces. I stopped looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and found God in the darkness.