Running… what do we run from? We all go through hard times in our life and some of us rather than run to the church for the solace that we know we will find, we run the other way. However, the advice tends to be don’t run. Sometimes though you have to run, hard and far. When life gets hard you might not want church, you might not want people to pray for you (even though they will) and you might not want sympathy. You want to be alone.
Last year a boy I went to confirmation with died at 19, then a week later a boy in my dorm died and a week later another boy in my dorm died. The first week I cried. The second week I cried some more and the third week I questioned it. Why would God do this? Why take these three young men? Why? What’s the purpose? Where is the grace? I see no grace in these deaths.
I’ve seen a lot of death and dying in hospice and nursing homes. I’ve held hands with people who died within the day and I was glad to see them go because they didn’t deserve to suffer any longer. I’ve prayed with people the night they died. I was glad to see her go because she was ready. I’ve seen people rally at 95+ years old, where I’m sure they’re going to go soon and they come back. So, why three 19 year olds in three weeks?
We run. Some of us are runners. So run from the church if you have to, yet, know that when you’re ready—when the running is done–there’s a church pew waiting for you and people there will take you back with open hearts and arms… even if you are only able to come late, leave early and cry in the last pew for the entire service.
Liz Darnell is a sophomore at the University of Wyoming where she is majoring in both math and political science. She hopes to go to law school once she completes her undergraduate degree. This blog post is a reflection of how her faith has evolved over her years of running cross country in high school, working as a CNA at a nursing home and home health for two years, along with a powerful three month experience with her grandmother in a residential hospice facility.