I’m out walking with George and I begin to wonder. Why? Why the trees and the stream? Why the sun breaking through the clouds? Why me? At a push I can see why the sun and the water and the trees, but why me? Really. I decide to ask God. I say, God?
Can I ask you a question?’
Why what? God says..
Well, I was going to ask why the trees and the stream and the sun, and why George and why Jesus and why me, but I thought I might as well just ask - why?’
Hm, God says. That’s a big one; I’ll have to think about that one.
Okay I say and I carry on walking and enjoying the woodland, and hoping I will get home before the big grey cloud sheds its load on me, and then God says, okay, I’ve got the answer.
Good, I say, although I’m thinking it took long enough for someone who’s omniscient, all-knowing.
God says, because.
I wait thinking he’s going to say something else but he doesn’t. I say, because?
Yes, God says, because.
That’s a … I hesitate. God says, go on say it, say what you’re thinking. I already know so you might as well.
Okay, I say, that’s a crap answer. That’s the sort of answer I gave my children when I couldn’t think of an answer.
Okay, says God, then my answer is because I am.
That’s no better, I say. That’s like me saying to my children, because I say so.
Hm, he says, you've got a point there. And are you a good parent?
Um, I shrug. I think so. I try to be.
Do you love your children?
More than all the world.
I can see where this is going. That’s what you get when you try discussing something with someone who knows everything.
Okay, I get your point, I say. I have to trust you. I sigh. Too loudly.
God says, you’re still not happy though really are you?
I sigh again. No, not really.
All right, God says, and I imagine him stroking his beard, I’ll tell you why. Because I am … I start to interrupt but he shushes me … I am love.
I am overwhelming, incredible, unending, unconditional love. It was the out-pouring of that love that took shape and created you – not the whim of man and woman.
It’s that love that made the sun and the water and the trees for the pleasure of seeing you, my child, smile.
It’s that love that shaped George for the pleasure of hearing you laugh.
It’s that same love that sacrificed my son just for you.
It’s that love that wants to protect you and hold you and never let you go and it’s that love that carries you as you tread hesitantly through pain, just as it’s that love that covers its eyes as you leap headfirst and eagerly into wrongdoing but waits for you at the other end.
It’s that love that washes and bathes you, tends your wounds and dries your tears.
Because I am love that’s why.
I am looking at the ground. I whisper, thank you. God puts his finger under my chin and lifts my face up to the falling tears from heaven. I bite my lip. I say, I love you.