Thursday, November 20, 2014

Broken little hearts

I am thinking a lot today about life and death, love and longing, precious memories and memories that won't ever be made. I'm trying to negotiate some understanding out of something that can never be understood. To make sense out of the senseless. I want things to be OK that can never be OK.

We lost a member of our congregation early this morning, and the hole he leaves in the fabric of the parish is huge and gaping. He was 31 years old and had been  married only a year. We lost him to a virulent cancer that took him only 5 months after diagnosis. The parish (not to mention his wife and the rest of his family) is devastated.

I'm also angry. As a person with a lot of my life behind me, I want to ask God what he thinks he's doing, taking a young person in the prime of life. I feel like breaking a few things, stomping my feet, and having a good cry. Actually, I had the good cry already.

Did I mention that I'm angry? Well, I am. Don't worry, God can take it. Remember the Psalms of lamentation?The Israelites had no trouble speaking up when they felt abandoned by God.

And yet I believe, at the same time I'm fighting through anger, that God doesn't cause cancer -- or tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, car accidents, or any of the other natural evils that kill people. In the 15th verse of Psalm 116, the Psalmist writes: "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones."

So I'm trying to believe that God grieves when we grieve, that he can bring some good out of any desperately awful thing that happens.

But today we have a whole parish of broken little hearts, hearts that won't be better any time soon.

1 comment:

Janet Irvine said...

I've had a glut of so many clients in pain, believing God is "testing"them and they shouldn't be mad, and all this nonsense. I get mad at God, but I know He grieves with us and protects us from more than we'll ever know. As for pain and suffering....I just don't understand. I just know its not something God dumps on us and runs away. laughing. He is with us in it, "mercy in the middle." Thanks for your words today.