Recent Video Stories

Where is God in My Suffering? – Kit's Story

My name is Kit Danley and I am the president here at Neighborhood Ministries. I come from affluent America. I come from a background off the lake, say in Milwaukee, both parents and grandparents were prominent Milwaukeeans. And as my parents tried to do adult life what they were tripping over was some unresolved pain particularly in my dad’s life and so he in a very public way killed himself. So when you are from affluent Milwaukee, high society it makes all the newspapers which it did. And so while my mom is escaping and fleeing scandal we as kids were trying to make sense, especially me and my sister. Where was God in all of this? By my senior year in high school I was making a lot of bargains with God. One was I said to him, “I’ll see you in college, don’t make me figure you out today”. And so I went to a very green, kind of radical college, eco-friendly kind of place in Colorado Springs, Colorado College, the last place you would think Jesus would be everywhere and Jesus was everywhere. So when I said I’ll see you in college I am sure he said, “See ya, I’ll see you there.”

So, it was in that place that God brought somebody who was willing to let me think out loud or work out loud the places I was stuck with him. And it was the very first time I was able to articulate, I think, was the brooding question in my heart…and that was “God if you are so good, or they say you are so good, these Christians, if you are so good and you are so loving why is there so much suffering on this planet.” What I know today, is that I was actually asking my question for me…God if you’re so good, where were you when my dad blew his head off, where were you when my mom had all these really gross men in our lives, where were you when I was really lost. Where were you, God in my suffering?

E. E Cummings says the more beautiful answer is preceded by the more beautiful question. And I had found my question and now I could meet God ‘because I knew what was wrong with me with him.

So, this friend said he had found this scripture in the front of his bible that his parents had given him. He also came from Milwaukee and he also came from affluence, and he was just sure, just like everyone else would have been, that this rich kid had rich kid kind of questions. And what rich kids need to know is that if you just give back, you will be happier and not so guilty. And so he thought, I will just tell her this bible verse, and so he told me Luke 12:48, which was in the front of his bible as he went away to college where his parents said to those who are given much, much is required. So he thought, I bet that could help you, that bible verse.

In those days when you talked to each other when you weren’t in front of one another was in phone booths because that’s where the phones were, so I’m in a phone booth and I am hearing that bible verse and I just completely fall apart and I don’t really have a clue why I am falling apart in a phone booth except that that bible verse interacted with that deep question of my life, interacted with now with seven years of very actively seeking God in a very childlike and youthful way. And I met God in a phone booth. I know I met God because from that day on I was completely different forever.

Three things happened in that phone booth. One was that I heard God say, “I really love that question. And I want you to keep asking hard questions your whole life. I am not afraid of hard questions. And I want to meet you in your hard questions.” The second thing that happened to me in that phone booth is I heard God say, “And by the way, I really like that question. That’s one of my favorites.” And so my soul heard God say, “I want you to know where I am in suffering. And he taught my heart from that phone booth day on, that he was present in it not absent from it.” In other words, pain doesn’t mean God’s absence, pain mean God’s presence. Then the third thing I heard God say was, “so I want you to join me there.” Because from that phone booth day till today there was a calling on my life to join God.

I don’t really come from having it all together; I come from a childhood of pain. And so my whole journey in this community among other people who have had a lot of stuff ripped off from them, who have a lot of grief, have a lot of childhood abuse issues like I had; they make me feel normal. They also help me know that my journey toward healing, my journey toward Jesus, my journey toward community is something they can share with me because I am normal here. All my pain, all my stuff…so I found that every single person who comes to volunteer here, work here, no matter where they come from, recognizes they have junk, unresolved issues, childhood pain, abuse stories and so forth. Here they can talk about it. Here it’s like normal. It’s not like it’s a big secret and you have to put a mask on and be Christian X and Y and Z and you have to pretend you are not who you are. Here you get to be a human being with all the stuff there, so we all get to be normal together, we all get to talk about our healing journeys. And so, here I run in….my transformation has been in the fact that I get to be a healed and healing human being alongside others. I am not the minister, the saint, the whatever; I am another human being on the road of life. Here in this community I get to tell the truth.

(see Kit's video on the videos page)