[Preface: I write a lot about the silence of God and my personal doubts and struggles. I feel like most of my posts are fairly deconstructive, so this is an excerpt of a hastily written letter in which I try to posit some kind of constructive theology.]
Here’s where I am with the silence of God. I don’t trust human perception enough to believe in an infallible revelation from God. I’ve seen Christians do too much stupid crap with “revelation” to believe that God is both God of revelation and God of our perception. I know this sounds like it goes against the sovereignty of God somehow. But part of our agency as human beings means that we bring some measure of humanness – dirty, messy, fallible humanness – to our perception of revelation, and that’s what bothers me. How can I know that what I construct with theology or Biblical data will be anything more than a house of straw – a house of straw that will at best be burned down with the next generation’s philosophical and cultural ideals or at worst be seen as oppressive as we move toward the telos of the realization of God’s kingdom? Knowledge is such a flimsy thing. The way we interpret the same data changes from generation to generation.
At this epistemological impasse, I take comfort in the knowledge that I’m not the first to live in doubt. One of my professors, Dr Robert Dykstra does a brilliant interpretation of the rending of the temple curtain in Mark’s gospel.  Dykstra describes how in that raw moment of agony in the gospel of Mark, when Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” he reads that as real anguish. I read it as fear. I see perceived abandonment and utter loneliness. I read this as real doubt. And the text does not condemn this. In fact, it supports it! In what Dykstra calls a beautiful act of violent exhibitionism, God rends the temple curtain in two – expressing solidarity with His Son, suffocating naked, exposed, and doubting on the cross.
I don’t see God physically. I don’t feel God emotionally. Hell, I don’t even sense God spiritually. But in doubting – I feel the freedom and agency God has given me. In giving us the freedom to doubt and wonder where in this Hell God is and why he has forsaken us, God rends the curtain, exposing Himself in an act of violently vulnerable solidarity. And faced with my doubt, faced with a Divine silence, I’m faced with a choice. I’m faced with my own human agency. And so I make my choice. I choose to fight against the silence. I choose to try to break the silence of God. I choose to try to prove that the impossible can happen here in this world and that the kingdom of God is breaking through this present darkness.
I identify a lot with the gospel of Mark. Especially the ending, “And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”
Of course that’s not the end of the story. Mark wouldn’t be writing if it was. And that’s the only answer to theodicy, for God’s silence, for God’s absence. For like the disciples in the empty tomb, I have not yet seen my risen Lord. The only answer is this: the story is not yet over; the drama is still unfolding.
Doubting is not in itself bad. Living with questions and uncertainty is part of being human. But living out the answers to those questions is something that is much harder. I don’t have all the answers, and I probably never will. But I can try to live the answers out as best as I can, reaching for the impossible, reaching for the Divine, reaching through that impenetrable curtain. And maybe – just maybe – God will rend the curtain from top to bottom, revealing Himself in glory through the triumph of love over evil and light over darkness.
 Robert C. Dykstra, “Rending the Curtain: Lament as an Act of Vulnerable Aggresssion.” Lament: Reclaiming Practices in Pulpit, Pew, and Public Square. Ed. Sally A. Brown and Patrick D. Miller. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.