I am a questioning person. I can’t think of a single moment in my life that has not been examined and pondered and questioned to the utmost of my ability.
In my days, I have asked and sought out the answers to many questions great and small, profound and ridiculous, vital and peripheral.
“What does mud taste like?”
“How did my eyebrows get to be so dang vicious and ambitious?”
“What does grass taste like?”
“Where would I end up if I just started walking, following the telephone wires?”
“Does God really exist?”
“Does He love me?”
“If I jump hard enough, can I fly?”
“Should I take algebra?”
“Why must there be war?”
“Why don’t all the rich people give their money to poor children?”
“What if I am not strong enough?”
“What if I can’t stop crying?”
“Did dragons exist?”
“What do you think”
“Am I crazy?”
“What’s the Queen’s last name?”
“What is the point?”
“What about spontaneous combustion?”
“Why am I afraid?”
“What *really* happens if you kiss a frog?”
Or, my perennial favorite;
“What would this taste like deep-fried?”
I write a lot of my ponderings down in journals, on blackboards, scraps of paper or even in the dirt beside the sidewalk, wonderings left for others to take up and think for a while. As life changes, so do the questions. The older I get, the more direct and complex they become, the less time I have to really sit and wonder whether or not my toad will turn into a prince. I need good, strong questions that will bring me sturdy, faithful answers. What about love? Should I keep this job? What happens if I fail? How do I show kindness to this person? How do I know the truth? What happens if I am not sure? What happens if I don’t find the right answer? What happens if there is no answer? What then?
In a way, that’s all life is, a series of questions. Some of them you have to answer, some of them you must ask. Each day begins with a question, each dawn gently but persistently interrogates our hours and asks us what will be. Each event demands a response- our answer. Will you harden, will you break, will you bend or shift or give or love or hate or live or die, or won’t you? The wills and the whys and the hows and the whats surround each breath we take and life is waiting- what will the answer be?
I met a young man who seems to be as questioning as I. We have talked for hours, days, weeks, months, mostly asking and answering questions- hundreds of them. We swore to be honest, we promised to be fair even if it was painful or we didn’t get the answer we desired. Nearly any and every query or quandary ever dangled in front of my mind has at some point been dissected and discussed. “Dogs or no dogs?” “What about children?” “What about homeschooling?” “Cow or no cow?” “Town or country?” “Dragons? Frogs? Goats? Maine?” “Wood stove or gas?”
Notes were taken, lists made to make sure no question was ignored, and through all the answerings and askings, I began to love the wondering soul behind his dark eyes, walking beside me on the road, or sitting with me on the couch. I started to see questions we had in common, answers we were both looking for- a fellow Asker. I saw inquiries we had made in our separate lives which had produced kindred results- a fellow Answerer. I started to ask different questions- no longer issues swarming around a nucleus of “Could I possibly live with this man for the rest of my life?” but very strongly, very surely, “What life could there be *without* him? What could the ‘rest of my life’ possibly be if he is not in it?”
He began to ask different questions as well. “Silver, or gold?” “Big or small?” “Diamond, or no diamond?” “Bridesmaids, or no bridesmaids?” “Winter or Spring?”
Then, one warm evening after we walked and talked over that day’s batch of inquiries, he turned and asked me perhaps the simplest, strongest, most direct question of my life after, “Will you accept Christ?”, and that was-
“Will you marry me?”
What a question.
Yes, I will. The answer is Yes.
Through all the questions that life will ask of us, through all the demands and decisions, Yes. Through the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘how evers’ and the ‘what fors’ – Yes. Through all the good times when answers are sweet and warm and easy- Yes. Through all the rough times when we won’t be sure, we won’t know, we can’t find answers or don’t like the ones given to us- it will still be Yes.
I look forward to a life of questing and searching and seeking and rejoicing in what is found. Every question has an answer and I look forward to hunting them down side by side with this man who has asked me to be his.
So there you have it, folks. That’s the answer.