I recently learned I must be decent at lip reading because I discovered that I can hear someone better when we're face to face, as opposed to when they're trying to talk to me from the backseat of the car or from another room. I've become a decent lip-reader because of my inability to hear well. Because of this hearing handicap I've also become a decent texter. I can tap out a novel length text fairly quickly. I prefer texting to talking because I can read better than I can hear.
I have a great texting relationship with my kids. I've even learned to send appropriate emojis and and cute avatar poses to liven up our conversations.
The oldest texts me at midnight to let me know he's on his way home. The middle texts me to tell me what she made on her Algebra 2 exam. And the youngest and I have text battles as to who loves the other the most.
Despite our healthy communication line, there's one text I occasionally get though that annoys me immensely...The Question Mark text.
The two oldest will text me a random question or statement like
What are we having for supper?
Why are we going to church so early?
If I don't answer with
1. Adequate haste
2. Excellent clarity
Immediately comes the question mark text.
It's as if to say Umm...I'm Waiting, or...Explain yourself.
I guess it gets on my nerves because I always return texts to my children in good time. I'm also extremely generous in my effort to help them understand why we're doing what we're doing/going where we're going...
Can't they just trust me? How about a little patience? How about using adequate words to express your desire for an answer instead of just a sentence -ender? Is it even grammatically legal to use punctuation without words?
The solitary and unfriendly question mark has made me ponder today. (Pondering is almost always dangerous.)
Do I ever respond to God, my Father in a likewise manner?
He lovingly communicates with me through His word and through His spirit. He is always available through prayer. He seeks to help me know His ways through gentle evidences of His wisdom, love and presence. Still, when I don't immediately have an answer to a question, my heart's response is often...
God can surely handle any nature of question, but he doesn't deserve our lack of trust and improper way of seeking understanding.
This solitary question mark is reminding me to evaluate the assumption behind my questions.
When we question those things we don't understand and life's disappointing events, are we demanding that God explain Himself, or we are we humbly acknowledging our need for help in understanding? When we question God are we looking for a confirming response that He is our lifeline or are we tapping our fingers angrily on the table as if to say How do you explain this?!
I'm thinking I'll wrap my own questions up in more trust. Make my question marks a little softer, a little less emphatic. I'll frame my questions with words, trusting ones. Even when it's easier to send a question mark alone.
What are you asking of God today?
How are you asking?
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16