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man holding his arms up towards the sky

I recently discovered the poem Narrative Theology #1 by Padraig O Tuama:

And I said to him
Are there answers to all of this?
And he said
The answer is in a story
and the story is being told.

And I said
But there is so much pain
And she answered, plainly,
Pain will happen.

Then I said
Will I ever find meaning?
And they said
You will find meaning
Where you give meaning.

The answer is in the story
And the story isn’t finished.

It can be so difficult when looking back at my story to make sense of what happened in certain places, and to ask “why?” There are places of pain or loss or regret, and I just want a good answer that will make everything okay. But for whatever reason, the question of “why?” frequently doesn’t seem to have any satisfying answers. And often “why?” keeps me stuck at a stand-still while looking in the rear-view mirror.

I think that’s part of the reason this poem resonates with me. There is hope in an unfinished story. There are still possibilities that are yet to be explored or waiting to be discovered. Maybe everything doesn’t necessarily happen for a reason, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that everything can be redeemed.

The answer is in the story
And the story isn’t finished.