Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Celebration and Sorrow

On Thursday, Jennifer will travel to Wittenberg, WI to attend the funeral of Amy's husband. Amy has been surrounded by friends and family, which is so essential during these times, esp. since this was such a surprise and the shock is still overwhelming.

And it was in the midst of this shock that Jennifer, Sierra, and I went to a doctor's appointment yesterday (as many know, we are expecting our second child in September and this was a normal check-up). At the appointment, Sierra got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. Everything is going very well on that front, but the contrast stood out to me as we sat in that little room.

Here we were, celebrating the upcoming birth of our child, and only a few miles away, a mother was telling her son that he would never see his father again.

Celebration and deep sorrow.

We spent yesterday afternoon playing in the backyard with another friend and his son. I saw Sierra and this little boy running around, going down the slide, kicking the ball around - all for hours on end. I was filled with both joy and sorrow. Joy in that I love spending time with my daughter and watching her grow, sorrow in knowing that Jon will not be able to do this with his son.

It is in times like this that I once again find myself on my knees. I find myself crying out in pain over the loss over others. I find myself asking questions. And it is again, on those well-worn knees, that I receive comfort. I know that God weeps with us - and sometimes that is only a small consolation, but it is a consolation none the less. I know that God will continue to come to those of us in pain. I know that God promises us eternal life. In the midst of grief, this sometimes does not seem like enough - but it is a start.

I am reminded of Psalm 23 - though I walk through the darkest valley, you are with me. We all walk through dark valleys in our lives, sometimes they have to do with loss, sometimes with health issues, financial issues, family issues, and the list goes on. And is in these dark valleys, these pits of life, that Jesus' presence shines on us all the brighter. He brings us the support we need, the hand to hold, the shoulder to cry on. He reminds us that he has walked these paths before, and he will make these tough walks again. And he does this because we are his beloved children.

Today my prayers revolve around the grief-stricken. May all who suffer loss, who walk in dark valleys, be supported and loved. May their sorrow and grief be shared by others and by Christ. And may we all feel the loving embrace of God in our lives.


Betty Dygart said...

Last week, when the presidential hopefuls were given the opportunity to discuss "compassion," Hillary Clinton was asked why she thought that a loving God would allow bad things to happen to good people.

Her response garnered her appreciative laughter from the audience. "Well, I really don't know, have often wondered the same thing, and I can't wait to ask Him."

It was a good answer. We can all point to things that have occurred, some of them just awful, and we wonder that same thing. But, there is some comfort in knowing that no one suffers alone and that God never leaves us. Who knows what the grand scheme of things is? Only God knows.

And yes, Psalm 23 is a good one to think on when bad things happen.

Thank God for giving us the Bible and the ability to read and take comfort in it.

chrissy said...

I am reminded of a story I read about a woman who lost a leg due to an accident and she now gives speeches regarding faith and moving forward. She emphasizes that Psalm 23 says "..I walk THROUGH the valley..." Through means we get past that valley. I think about this often when I read the Psalm or when I think of a "valley" I might be in at the time. I will get THROUGH it.