Last week, I went to Lewes, Delaware, to help a friend settle into her new condo; she had moved from Newport News, Virginia, two weeks earlier.
“I’m on the case,” I said when she could not find her house keys.
I love solving mysteries. Where were her keys? She knew they were in the house but where could they be?
We retraced her steps, with no luck. We searched the garage and kitchen. She searched her bedroom. I asked if I could go through her coat closet, and she said yes. And there, inside the pocket of her white coat, were the keys. She hadn’t remembered that she had worn that coat earlier in the day. Mystery solved.
We had several other mysteries during my time with her—mostly moving related (“where did I put…?” “which box has…?”).
My younger brother also loves to solve mysteries, like tracking down the guys who broke into his garage and stole some equipment—he followed Craig’s List until he saw his equipment listed and then called the police, who set up a sting.
He attributes our doggedness in solving mysteries to the fact our dad was a cop; I attribute it to our mother’s insistence that we never give up when we were searching for something.
I remember a friend in college marveling at my persistence when she could not find something, and I was unwilling to let go until the mystery had been solved. She had been raised to let go and replace.
I love most everything associated with mysteries—novels, plays, movies and television shows.
The funny thing is, though, that despite the fact that I love to follow the clues and solve the mysteries in my everyday life, there are many other mysteries with which I am completely comfortable.
For example, mysteries of faith and miracles I can accept with complete confidence. Somehow, I can trust that there are some things we cannot solve or unravel; acceptance is the only solution.
In that way, I think I am contrary to most people—those who can let go when something is lost (and rush to replace it) and yet question faith and distrust miracles.
I think my comfort with mysteries of faith helps me be able to sit with people who are suffering and dying. I don’t ask why someone is ill or why there is suffering. I accept that suffering, illness and death happen. They are part of life. I appreciate that there is nothing to be done, no answers to be found and no clues to follow.
At times of sorrow and grief, I believe that acceptance is more helpful than questioning. Finding meaning in loss is more about being grateful for what has been and gathering the gems of good memories to cherish.
I am grateful for my approach to different kinds of mysteries because solvable mysteries, while they may take a great deal of time in the process, are solvable. Mysteries of faith are just that—mysteries.
As we get older, there seem to be more and more of those mysteries (lost items) to solve, lol.
Yes, and I am getting better at letting things go and trusting I will come across them at some point.
Doesn’t the mystery of our God deepen our love for Him? If we could answer all our why questions about Him, he would not be God, just another one of us solvable humans. Each and every living human cell is is revealed to be even MORE complex, than we had gathered, as science continues to discover. That alone argues for His hand in our lives