holy curiosity: simple questions only (debby hudson).

Holy curiosity: Sometimes it’s not just one story, but it’s a series of stories. I love getting a glimpse into the life of Debby, who weaves together one big story of being okay with asking questions. Read, enjoy and share her words today! 

Yutaka Seki
Photo cred: Yutaka Seki. 

Phylis wouldn’t stop at one question. There would be follow up after follow up, her interest in people was astounding. I don’t remember her specific questions but I know she knows all about my life and I know a lot about hers.

We met when she was our children’s fifth grade teacher. Curiosity and teaching are the perfect blend. How does one teach without first asking questions?

Our friendship developed and has continued over years and moves, through life changes and grief, both hers and mine. We never stopped asking each other the simple questions about life.

I’m not a dreamer, you see. It’s far too impractical and risky. Dreaming isn’t safe. Dreaming follows curiosity so I’ve never fancied myself a curious person either. Only curious in the way a mama wants to know why her four-year-old son suddenly got quiet. Or why she hasn’t heard his teenaged self come home yet. Some might be so bold as to call that nosy.

I call it good parenting.

There’s the curious and the nosy with me falling in the latter category. Who, what, where and why are what I want to know. The answers to those aren’t always what I want to hear but fear doesn’t make me shy away from asking.

There’s another inquisitive nature that is more of my husband’s sort. He asks the How questions. He tells the story of taking a watch apart when he was in elementary school purely to know how it worked. He does crazy math problems in his head like figuring out how many light years it would take to get to some planet. He does this because he actually likes it.

I can barely wade through a tutorial about the right settings on my camera to get a good shot of fireworks. I want to know, but I’d rather you do it and hand me the camera.

We both grew up in homes where we were taught not to question God. He’s God, after all. He is omniscient, perfect in all ways. In Him are all things and all things were made through Him.

Our parents modeled that, most of the time. They lived their lives surrendered in service to God. When they talked about losing a son in a tragic accident when he was 6 years old, they never questioned God. It was providential, a word my father-in-law used often because he believed.

I’ve questioned God. A lot. I’ve raised a figurative fist, railed at him through distraught tears when our family was going through challenging times with that son.

When our ministry abruptly changed sending us to new places with vastly different assignments I didn’t understand and asked not only why, but what and where.

What would I do?

Where was my place?

I’ve been tending to some old wounds lately and I’ve imagined what could have been different. Just a little because it’s not safe to go too far with those wild thoughts, now is it? That’s me. Safe. Practical.

I sense that God wants me to ask more. Not in that interrogation way but in the way Phylis would ask me more so she could know me. How will I ever really know God if I’m not intrigued by his character?

Brennan Manning and Mike Yaconelli have asked the questions about grace and their holy curiosity touches the places in my heart I only knew were lacking. From Yaconelli:

“Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. ”


I suppose that’s why I read CS Lewis and Glennon Melton, Micha Boyett and Anne Lamott. These are the seekers who know not to stop but keep going a little deeper. They are willing to risk the safe and known for the inconceivable gift of grace. From Boyett’s book, Found

“Prayer is not an act I perform, words I recite, a behavior I strive to maintain. It is a returning. It is a broken life finding healing, a misplaced soul recognizing home.”

At one time, the thought of God’s mystery frustrated me. Why would there be any mystery surrounding him? Why wouldn’t all be revealed to us whom he loves so much? I am no closer to understanding it but I am learning to accept this mystery as beauty. I am finding peace in the mystery of the not knowing yet knowing all is grace in Him.

DebbyGravatarDebby is a beach loving South Florida girl who grew up in the church but learned about grace from an ever-changing group of men in recovery. Music, good words and lots of laughter with friends and family are her favorite parts of life. You can find Debby on her blog, on Twitter and on FacebookIt’s Cara again: don’t you love how Debby wove together stories of holy curiosity through a kindergarten teacher, faith, a life in ministry and several words (and authors) to live by? Leave her some love below! 


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8 thoughts on “holy curiosity: simple questions only (debby hudson).

  1. I’m always captured by “the mystery of faith” in the Apostle’s Creed. It’s there – and has been for hundreds of years – and makes me think that we’ve been struggling with the mystery of God since the beginning. In some ways that’s comforting – I’m not alone. In some ways that makes me wonder why we are created question… Embracing the mysterious doesn’t come naturally for me, but I’m slowly, slowly learning that this, too, is part of faith.

  2. “I am learning to accept this mystery as beauty.” Yes! Isn’t it delightful that we can never fully know God, that there will always be more to learn? Your thoughts reminded me of a book I recently read about (haven’t read the book yet) at brainpickings.org. It’s called, The Island of Knowledge: How to Live with Mystery in a Culture Obsessed with Certainty and Definitive Answers by Marcelo Gleiser. He writes, “It is the flirting with this mystery, the urge to go beyond the boundaries of the known, that feeds our creative impulse, that makes us want to know more.” I think he’s right.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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