There’s a phase of youth that’s Godless. Only it has become more like a way of life.

The phase takes longer, then longer, till it becomes much more. A lifetime.

Maybe this is what some saints refer to as spiritual dryness. I don’t know.

We all have our sad days.

I know, I know! Talking about God is boring now, and we would rather talk about business, or relationships, or something much more important, like money.

But you see, truth is, even when we decide not to talk about God, we end up talking about him, ‘cos we cannot change what or who we are.

There’s a child in my parish with hydrocephalus. It’s that medical condition where a child’s head swells out of proportion because of excess water in the deep cavities of the brain.

Each time I look at this child I’m filled with sympathy. Maybe that’s the wrong emotion, I don’t know. But I’ve been part of her life for nearly three years now and I know it’s not been an easy one.

Sometimes, I wonder why God let’s a baby suffer this much.

On one occasion she had a bad fall and we ended up in the hospital. That night I was filled with great sorrow.

I thought about her parents who had had to bear the pain of seeing their baby suffer greatly. I thought about how much money they had spent so far on trying to make life more comfortable for her.

Then my thoughts drifted to the baby herself. She’s barely four, and the only life she has known is pain. The pain of multiple surgeries, the pain of consistent medication. The pain of a stunted growth. The pain of an oversized head.

Again my thoughts drifted to a certain young man I remember from my primary school days. He had a large head as well. He had to drop out of school as a result of body shaming from other kids.

I’m sorry I’m drifting. But you see, since the day I took that baby to the hospital, she’s become my best friend.

She comes to me daily after Mass. She makes sure she comes, even when her Mom isn’t in the mood to.

She is full of so much joy. I carry her now and then, and she’s HEAVY.

She’s burdened.

On one of those visits, her Mom told me that her baby has asked her for another head.

“Another head?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes”. Her Mom replied, smiling. “She says she wants a smaller head like everyone else.”

Well, our baby has started school now, and I’m sure the other kids have started talking already. Why else does she want another head so quick?

Anyway, I’m writing about this baby because in life, not every thing makes sense.

You’re a young person and you’re carrying your own burdens. Yours may not be hydrocephalus, but I’m sure it’s just as heavy.

Is this really enough reason to pretend like God doesn’t exist? Do we stop believing in God simply because we can’t understand everything he does?

Think about the baby in this story. Think about what many troubles she’ll still have to face. Think about the emptiness of life itself, and realise that we are bigger than our problems.

We transcend only if we believe. Pick up the pieces and try again. You’re work in progress.

And if you’ve given up on God, remember he hasn’t given up on you.

© Oselumhense Anetor, 2021.