I lost Joel yesterday.
It was only for about two minutes, but it was, by far, the worst two minutes of my life (including the minutes, many years ago, when a sociopath held a loaded gun to my head). We went to the children's museum to play, like we do about twice a month. While I was checking us in and getting change for a locker, I thought both kids were playing at the statue in the entryway. But when I turned around to get them, I only found Sophie. I checked the entry and the two open anterooms. He wasn't there. I told the woman in the gift shop, panic straining my voice, and I described him as I was running back and forth, frantic, calling his name.
The staff are experienced in this kind of thing, of course, and they found him pretty quickly, gave him to me, and took us off to a private room to recover. I cried and held him, cried while they played, cried into Sophie's hair at naptime later.
Here's my problem, though: Our story has a happy ending. As awful as those two minutes were, we were in a relatively safe place, prepared for and experienced in wandering-child recovery, and the only person who ever knew anything was wrong was me. But what about the stories that don't end like this one?
I wrote last week about why I believe that God is Good, and I do. I believe that God is Good... but I don't necessarily trust that goodness in this life.
This is a Question I've been wrestling with for several years, maybe longer. Different events and experiences have brought it up in different ways, but it goes something like this:
I have been blessed. Incredibly, immeasurably, ridiculously blessed. Until I was 16, my life was hard and dark and violent. And then it wasn't. My life today is amazing: happy marriage, wonderful kids, warm, safe home.
But if I get all of this ^, and so many others don't, what's to say it won't all disappear in the next instant?
I posted a Facebook status about losing Joel yesterday, wanting to lean on others' experiences for a little while, but I quickly took it down. I was afraid of the comments I might get, like "God was watching over you" or "The Lord brought him back to you." Comments like that ALWAYS dredge up deep discomfort in me. If God was watching over us, what does that mean for the babies who don't make it back safe? The ones who are kept hostage, hurt, killed, or sold?
I'm not saying that God isn't trustworthy. But I am always waiting for the bottom to drop out, though I don't want to and I don't mean to, I just am. And that's why I'm so glad God knows our hearts, because sometimes that's all I can do, just sit before him and show him my heart. Sometimes (many times), there are no words.