I had an extensive conversation with someone a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure how to talk about it without giving out private info i've no right to share, but the conversation had a massive impact on me and how i see things.
Basically it came down to "behind the scenes" info. How person A in my life did something that profoundly impacted the outcome of a situation for person B, but that B never knew of that until years later. B was satisfied with that, feeling that A had his back even tho he never knew about it.
That doesn't work for me. I'm glad that B is reassured, but it doesn't work for me. Because there was no joint feeling in all of this. Person A could have drawn a group together, made this group feel like there was teamwork and caring in that group. The people in the group could then feel reassured, loved, and that the group could pull together. If we had felt that A and the rest of the group "had our backs," there would have been a sense of security. We didn't know that, and at the time there was no group feeling, no sense of reassurance, of love, or anything but intense loneliness.
It is hard to state this because of the limitations, but when being told this what i was thinking of was how often i'm told, "When it is all over, we will understand." Meaning we will understand how God was there for us in this situation or that, situations we did not see the hand of God at the time. There is a very superficial, hollow, rather trite email circulating. It is someone talking about their difficult day and then God tells them they couldn't find their car keys making them late for ______ because that kept them from getting in a car accident, etc., etc.
I do not see the world this way and sometimes it makes me really angry. IF God works that way, how is it that bad things still happen. How is it that children desperately pray to be saved from abuse or hunger and no one shows up?
When i think of the story of A doing this but no one knowing until later, i think of how that knowledge could have helped that collection of people pull together, feel comforted, loved, valued. Instead, time just plodded on, the collection of people remained isolated, disjointed, unaided, until they eventually went their own way. Learning of all of this after the fact does nothing to reassure me. It doesn't change the sense of desolation i had at that point, desolation that has shaped my entire life. I see missed opportunities. In fact, those missed opportunities that had the ability to do so much good make me really, really angry. Person A may have been demonstrating love to B or others in that motley collection, but because no one knew about it, there was no experience of love. I'm angry about it all.
The thought that someday i'll stand before God and understand he "had my back" when this happened or that did not is not the least comforting to me, and after that conversation a couple of weeks back it is even less so. Because i do not feel God in any way. I don't see his hand in the way things work, except that i know if he withdrew his hand everything would collapse. However, i don't see his finger pushing this situation or that. I feel, as i did before, alone, isolated, forsaken and isolated. It makes me angry to think i'll later have to hear God say, "I was there for you," when i did not feel or experience it.