Tomorrow will be 12 years.
Christopher heard the call and was loyal and committed to the purpose and destiny he heard all of his life. Yet, the mixture of his zealous personality (do it right or don’t do it at all), and the certainty of purpose and assurance of destiny, fought with his tender heart.
With the tendency of feeling disqualified, it became too much.
I’ve been writing here for awhile now, with the purpose of being a small but steady light telling of God’s care during tragedy. I have not written solely about suicide, but the heartache of suffering in all its shapes and sizes.
I cannot speak to every heartache, but I do know the One who can.
I’m just a beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. And when you are hurting, you are begging for answers.
But we don’t always get answers, do we?
Some say, how could a God of love allow pain? I say isn’t it amazing how a God of love will comfort us in the pain.
It’s always been easy for me to see the big picture and not get lost in the details. That said, I have often found strength learning of the suffering which has come to mankind since the beginning of time.
There is a bigger picture. One that is difficult if not impossible for humanity to grasp. Try as we may, though, we form intellectual opinions based on what we see or understand, not realizing (or accepting) that just as the immensity of the universe cannot be understood in our finite minds, we will not understand why we suffer.
God’s ways are not ours. And in this I find comfort. Because it tells me someone is in charge of all this.
He has the answers.
The Bible speaks of the “great cloud of witnesses” who surround us – those who spur us on to continue with perseverance the path marked out for us. Men and women who faced intense adversity: ” … they were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated …”
We can continue with world history and current events which reveal so much pain and suffering, along with many, many who have endured and persevered, because they have grabbed hold of something bigger than themselves.
I do not want to minimize pain by sounding trivial in the conclusions I have come to. But even in my worst first moments of receiving the news, suffocating and pulling me down into an abyss of hopelessness and despair, I found a brief moment to catch my breath and see the big picture of human suffering. Looking back, this was God pulling back the curtain to show me a truth that would help sustain me.
I was not alone. Countless others have faced this and more. God wasn’t picking on just me. He wasn’t punishing me. He wasn’t rejecting me.
Pain will isolate us, particularly from God. It, like death, is an enemy. An enemy that God will deal with one day when he wipes away every tear and there will be no more sorrow or death.
This is truth.
The truth sets us free from the limitations of how we see things.
And so we wait.
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
November 30, 1981 – September 26, 2005
13 thoughts on “remembering.”
Beautiful words of truth spoken from the heart of pain and loss. Thank you. This is the first picture I’ve seen of Christopher; he’s as beautiful outside as inside!
Aww, thank-you, Peggy.
A beautiful young man indeed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights. Our beautiful son, Gabe, took his own life May 20 of this year. He was 27 years old. He was a world-class runner who could not outrun the depression that plagued him. He was kind and generous to everyone but himself. He could never do enough good to make himself feel valuable. We will miss him every day of our lives! But although we grieve, we continue to believe that God is good, that He loves us, that He is holding us in His arms.
Caryl, I am sad with you for the loss of your son. Thank-you for commenting.
Together, we look for the day of seeing our boys again. What a day that will be!
Kathleen, I am consoled by knowing of that “great cloud of witnesses” that most certainly includes our sons. Every time we take communion they are witness to it. Maybe that is where people get the saying that our loved ones are watching over us.
In our suffering there is now an understanding of God’s undeniable hand in how we grieve.
We have drawn closer and our faith has grown even as we search for answers that may never come.
And we have each other. Tragedy has made it so. God lift you up, friend, and give you peace especially on those unbearable dark nights.
Christopher is a handsome young man.
Peace and Hugs,
Dale, Brandon’s mom
Dale, it helps me to know you understand. Thank-you!
Hugs to you, Kathleen.
Thank you for your faithfulness in writing here. Your words have been a balm to my soul on more than one occasion. While I do not know the pain of losing a child to suicide, the heartache of suffering has been experienced and your words – pointing to the One who walks through it with me – have helped. I am so sorry you have had to endure this loss.
I pray for you, your husband, and family more often than you would ever know…miss seeing you once in awhile. Words from the heart sharing how God has gotten you through, are always beautiful. May it bless many others in need!
So appreciated. Thank-you, Laura.
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