Every time I hear the first reading, I think about my
prayers. Am I commanding God, or am I asking? I have never "entered
into the sources of the sea." I have never even been to a sea
or ocean, let alone entered its sources. God could often address
me in the same way he addressed Job. Perhaps my prayers are selfish.
Maybe they are not oriented toward a greater good. Many times my
prayers have not been answered. Sometimes I later realize it was
best they were not answered. What I prayed for was probably not
in my best interest. God knew this and although I was temporarily
disappointed, I was more satisfied in the end.
Even with this in mind, there are still some prayers I cannot help
but wonder why God did not answer them. If I pray for God to end
the suffering of a sick baby, a suffering grandmother, or a wounded
child, why does he not answer?
In "God Grew Tired of Us", a moving documentary about
the Lost Boys of Sudan, one of the Lost Boys expresses his feelings
about God during his struggle, along with 27,000 other boys, to
eke out an existence on a walk from the Sudan to Kenya without food
or water. Amidst all the suffering, he wondered where was God? When
he received no answer he came to the conclusion, "then, God
grew tired of us…" How else could God bear to standby
and witness all the suffering?
Did God grow tired? If God is everywhere, He must have been there,
so he did not leave them. Why did he not answer their prayers then?
Was he really sick of them? It may seem blasphemous to say, but
I have always believed it would be most difficult to be God. Let
me explain. We pray and ask for things that we want, that we need,
and when they do not happen we are sad. Sometimes our prayers are
selfish, and not answering them is what is best for us.
There are other times, though, that are very different. We pray
for our grandparents to get well, for our siblings to do well on
their tests, and when they don't get better and when they don't
do as well as they hoped, we are sad. Can you imagine being God?
When I think of the experiences the Lost Boys of Sudan endured,
I am horrified. Can you imagine how God felt? I feel pain when I
think of all the suffering people in the world, but God loves each
and every one of them more than I can imagine. He knows each of
them by name, their favorite songs and favorite stories. He knows
the number of hairs on their head. It would be painful to be God
because he cares so much for all of us. Our suffering must cause
him a great deal of pain. There are times my prayers are not answered
and it is a good thing. Other times, when my prayers aren't answered,
and I feel like crying. I wonder, is God crying too?