Some people devour every new one that comes along.
Me? I carefully choose because I have to be able to trust the author.
Not only that, I do not have the emotional or mental capacity to pursue all of the opinions out there that best fits me at this point in my life.
I trust Timothy Keller and I am confident of his simple, honest approach to life.
This is the introduction to his book I just started reading, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering. What resonated with me was the last sentence: … inevitably this support must be spiritual.
We keep waiting for someone to get it, don’t we?
It may never happen.
“Author Earnest Becker spoke about the danger of denying the misery of life and the randomness of suffering. When we hear of a tragedy, there is a deep-seeded psychological defense mechanism that goes to work. We think to ourselves that such things happen to other people, to poor people, or to people who do not take precautions.
Life is tragic.
We all know this intuitively, and those who face the challenge of suffering and pain learn all too well that it is impossible to do so using your own resources. We all need support if we are not to succumb to despair. In this book we will argue that inevitably this support must be spiritual.“[my italics]
We’ve been conditioned by this world, fresh with cutting edge technology.
Medical images are sent with lightening speed across the country for another doctor to view. No library is needed for a quick research on any given topic. Our televisions don’t have to warm up before viewing. Phone calls don’t have to wait until we get home.
So when we do have to wait, it can be frustrating.
I am old enough to remember slower days and now, I appreciate them.
It seemed the less we knew the better off we were.
Although, there is absolutely no doubt our advancements have been beneficial.
For me personally, it’s easier than ever to have a cause, jump on a bandwagon, and reach for the stars.
Not a bad thing .. until life comes to a screeching halt, warranting your absolute attention
I often think of parents who have hospital visits with their child as part of their normal routine. They wait.
I think of the caretakers who sit with Alzheimer patients. They wait.
There is no earthly thing that can take the pain away of your child’s death.
I have read story after story of many, specifically mothers, who need this validation. Because for the most part, they are not hearing it from anyone else.
In fact, they feel distanced from people who were once a part of their lives. And it is not the mothers who are creating the distance.
It’s not that mothers want someone to fuss over them. It’s that for some unknown reason, if their child’s death wasn’t enough to grieve about, friends, family, and church family distance themselves.
It’s almost as if they are too close, they will catch something.
The reality of death? The reality of knowing their child could die, too?
And so a second layer of grief is added to the first layer.
Grieving a child’s death is different than any other grieving. Every time a well-meaning person says, “at least you have good memories”, “death is death” (no, suicide is different), or any other statement to bring comfort, it is literally like pouring salt in a wound.
I think the hardest thing is for mothers who are part of a church family. I’ve read their stories. How is it that the very people who should know what to say … don’t know what to say? Or say the wrong things?
And then, instead of acknowledging this ineptness, the grieving mother is told “well, people don’t know what to say or do”.
You mean those who profess to know God, filled with the Holy Spirit, going out into all the world to preach the gospel – some believing in the mandate to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils – don’t know what to say to a heartbroken mother? Distance themselves? And God forbid, talk about her behind her back?
She’s not the same.
I often think about Jesus’ words to us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
Perhaps the most important thing we should be doing in our churches today is that.
We do so many other things that we deem as our love for God and ignore what might take more of a commitment. More compassion. More understanding. More patience.
This has to be on God’s heart. Just read the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation.
Many are shipwrecked in their faith because of this further grief.
It’s not God’s fault. I know, the church represents God. But it is not yet perfect.
So we look to God for all that he promises for broken hearts.
We trust he is bigger than us and develop that relationship with him.
I promise, he will help you.
There is no earthly thing that can take away the pain of your child’s death.