I get angry when nice people suffer. I have visceral angst when good, caring, kind people die early, or die after suffering, or have tragic deaths in their family. I have experienced grief on so many levels and have witnessed some very horrific things. Each time, I have unashamedly asked God what was going on. I have asked him “why”, I have sought his comfort and reassurance as I tried to make sense of deaths and tragedy that seem senseless.
I grew up in the same neighborhood as this amazing family. I babysat their oldest two kids, and we are like family. When I became a single parent, they stepped up and stepped into our lives with friendship, acceptance, encouragement, generosity and unconditional love. Their youngest and five of our kiddos are close friends. Weeks ago, my daddy called me late at night. I grabbed the phone in a panicked dread, knowing that it was not good news if he called me so late.
He was crying as he told me of the tragic, “freak accident” that caused the death of my dear friend…at a young age, just as life seemed to be starting for him in his young adult years. Wailing is not strong enough of a word to describe my grieving laments. Why did he have to receive such an injury? Why couldn’t he be revived at the scene? Why? Why? Why!!!!
My grief became more overwhelming as realization set in, and memories presented themselves in an endless procession of bittersweet recollections. Laughter and tears comingled like a salty sweet dessert.
My vocabulary was limited by my grief. I had no eloquence, only pain.
My previous post, Thankful Thursday – (a.k.a. what the heck is a CloudBreak?) gives explicit detail about my journey on that day.
Since then, I decided that even though it hurt, even though I lacked understanding, even though I was filled with questions; I would only strive to see God’s love for me. I would only effort in seeing the consistent, unchanging love of God.
I began to simply bask in His presence. I was grief struck, I felt deep anguish and pain, but I determined to sit there anyway. I told him, “Grief sucks. This sucks. I don’t like it, I don’t understand it; but I love you. I trust that somehow, even in my pain, you are here. For this moment, that will be enough for me. I believe that ‘The Lord is good, His love never quits!’ (1 Chronicles 16:34 MSG).”
It was a rough time. Yet, there was this… settling about me. I felt calm and peaceful despite the agony of grief. The following is taken from an email that I sent to James a week or so later, detailing an experience that I had:
Look what Jesus did….even after my questions and grief. I am learning that if I had all the answers, then it wouldn’t be called FAITH. 😉
I helped save a woman’s life at the store today!!!! She had no pulse, pale, unresponsive. A man who works at the hospital and a nurse and I worked on her. She was not breathing, and they were doing chest massage. I laid my hand on her forehead and prayed “in the name of Jesus Christ be healed!” (Under my breath cuz I didn t want to be all….you know) She blew out a huge breath of air. We laid her down and I tilted her head, cradling her neck. Her left hip was badly dislocated. People covered her with blankets. I prayed again, “Jesus Christ, heal her! We need a Christmas miracle.” She opened her eyes, and I said “welcome back! It s getting close to Christmas, I am sure your family will be glad to see you”. She started talking and color came back. Then we got out her cell phone and I called her daughter. Paramedics came, we warned them about her hip. They pulled back the blanket, and HER HIP WAS HEALED. !!!!! I was like, wow God, you healed her hip! It was like he said, “yup, I figure since I brought her back to life, healing her hip’s not that big of a deal” …..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀
I am learning that if I had all the answers, then it wouldn’t be called FAITH. 😉