“It’s not brave to have answers. It’s brave to watch them get erased, obliterated, rubbed out with a half-chewed cheap eraser on the end of a #2 pencil, the kind that leaves black nasty smudges in the wake of that math formula that should have contained, as promised, a solvable response on the right side of that equals sign.”  ~ Mandy Steward


We were sitting in a random Chick-Fil-A off of I-95—me, my husband, and Dan. Lemonade and milkshakes and that piercing sunlight that makes the treetops glow orange in the evening air.

As other “internet” meetings have played out, I had a feeling things would roll along smoothly. And it did. And Drew, my husband (who doesn’t tweet and rarely facebooks) came along and there was much laughter. The conversation was warm. We were talking about what we were reading these days.

Drew shared his stack of “current reads,” which is a mile high. Some of the titles were packed full of words that I don’t know how to pronounce, but Dan seemed to keep up with Drew’s titles.

I was relieved. The boys had something to talk about.

To reciprocate making fun of his Bible-nerd book collection, Drew outed my secret love for Sci-Fi.

Yay…… The boys had something else to talk about. Suddenly I was double-teamed, and if you know anything about Dan, you know he’s a fist-bumper. Let me just say that Drew got two fist-bumps out of the evening and I only got one.

(Yes, Dan, I counted.)

To move the attention away from my secret Sci-Fi addiction, I asked Dan what he was reading. He told us about book that was called something like “answering all the God-questions,” which addresses those confusing questions from the Bible, like why does God allow war and why did He tell the Israelites to commit genocide by wiping out the Canaanites?

My brain lit up. Spiritual questions have always bugged me. I like to understand things, know the Why’s and How’s and When’s. And oh do I have questions: Why is it taking so long for us to become parents? What is the great purpose for this delay?

But something jumped in me when Dan talked about this book. My mental knee-jerk reaction was, “Don’t answer the questions! You’ll kill the mystery!!”

Where did that come from? From me? The girl who demands answers and hates surprises and must have it all figured out?

Yes. Something fundamental had changed in me, which I’ve been wrestling with for longer than know. And just that morning I’d been building pages in my art journal that talked about the mystery. That talked about how Spiritual Mystery is a journey, an invitation to discovery, a rebellion of sorts. And that life, in all it’s profundity and mystery, is to be embraced in the confusing areas—the hard areas—the blind spots that we can’t see and can’t prepare for. Those are the moments of deepest discovery, and if we don’t learn to lean into the questions we won’t be true pilgrims on this Spiritual path.

So now I am letting my questions accompany me on this quest. (Funny how questions and quest have the same root.) My questions are my companions on this quest for Truth, my travelling partners, my guides. They are the arrows that point me in the direction of discovery.

And I’ll ask you a question as you and I walk together today:

What questions are you walking with on your quest to find Truth?


the God-questions

by Mandy Thompson time to read: 3 min