“Why do I pray?” he asked me, after a moment. Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe.” from Night by Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel is a Romanian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate – and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald concentration camps.
Every few years, I read a book about the Holocaust. This is my small, silent witness. A witness to the unimaginable pain we are capable of both inflicting and enduring.
Suffering, injustice, rejection. If these words had to be drawn, they would likely be drawn as a raging question mark. Where is God? Does God see? Does God care? And if He does why is He silent?
“Man questions God and God answers. But we don’t understand His answers. We can’t understand them.” from Night by Elie Wiesel
Suffering, injustice, rejection, all seemingly driven by unrelenting, fearsome forces beyond our control. We cannot make sense of, let alone fix, all the problems that swirl like dark shadows around our lives and this planet we call home.
“And why do you pray, Moche ?” I asked him. “I pray to God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.” from Night by Elie Wiesel
We were not born at the end or the beginning of time, but somewhere in the middle. In between darkness and light. We rage against shadows we have no hope of understanding and, in doing so, turn from the very light that could give us hope. And hope, my friend, is what it takes to endure.
Of this I am sure, one day darkness will turn to light the day. One word will mark that day, forevermore, and it will be love.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8 v38-39, NIV