My family recently holidayed in Western Australia, we walked on beaches of white quartz sand & bright blue water, amongst giant Tingle trees, saw Southern Right Whales up close, huddled around a fire place at night, drove over 3000 kms & climbed up hills & scrambled over granite to see parts of the world we’ve never seen before, it was beautiful & the time away together was awesome.
One day we decided to explore the Albany Whaling Station, when it closed it was the last operating whale station in Australia. Together we walked around the site, hearing stories of the people & communities who used to hunt, kill & process whales as well as the history of the whale industry.
I found the images & stories were quite confronting, so, as I walked with our 4 year old around the station, I’d regularly try to grab his attention & distract him from the most confronting parts of the stories we were hearing.
At one time, my son & I had walked away from the tour and accidentally found ourselves looking at a photo of a whale being “processed.”
I almost broke into tears when my son asked
“Daddy, why would people kill whales?”
And so we stood there together, on the ground where over 15000 whales were killed, entering into a difficult conversation about our world, about money, & how we have not cared for & loved the world around us.
It’s a question I think we’ll be exploring together for most of our life.
It’s a question that asks about how we care for God’s creation & which asks more of us & our faith than one simple answer could ever provide.
As we continued to think through the deep question he’d asked we would look out to the ocean & see some Southern Right Whales swimming in the distance.
I’m glad that I was there with him, and as I was asking the same question I was able to suggest that maybe we could help each other work through that question together. Hard questions often require a community, or a trusted relationship to process.
Who do you go to when you have difficult questions?
Are you a person that others find safe to ask difficult questions?
How do you work through questions that don’t have immediate & easy answers?