Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beyond What's Broken

A few weeks ago I said to Andy, "Why does there seem to be so many people suffering right now?"

Several things have happened that just hit too close to home...
  • A worship pastor is hit by a car while riding his bike. He dies almost instantly, leaving behind a wife and three young children. 
  • A church planter loses his young daughter to an asthma attack (AN ASTHMA ATTACK?!). 
  • A 6 year old boy has brain cancer. 
  • A family who we dearly love is fighting to save their marriage after an affair.
  • A mom with 3 beautiful young children finds out she has cancer.
I feel like every week I'm hearing of another tragedy. Why? Why so many right now?

Andy wisely responded to my question by saying, "There's always this much suffering. You're just more aware of it right now."

So true. Whenever we're suffering a loss in our own lives, we see the whole world through that lens. We become acutely aware of all the pain and injustice that life keeps doling's some for you, and some for you, and a great big heaping portion for you too.

We look on with fear, wondering if we will be the next unwanted recipients of grief so deep that it marks our whole lives. We start holding hands in parking lots and double-checking seat belts. We tiptoe in dark bedrooms to watch our children sleep, like somehow our presence will help their chests continue to rise and fall. We go overboard to control all the things that we have just realized afresh we have absolutely no control over at all.

We pray desperate prayers... prayers for comfort, for healing, for strength... and for protection. For a shield, a wall, to keep all those horrors away from us.

I began reading a book today. A book that my dad's been telling me for a year that I should read. Today was the day, and it was just the right day. A day that my head is spinning with questions of why and how and what does this mean for the future?

The book is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and it opens with a story of grief. Her story. As I read her words, I understood every question that she asked and emotion she described. All of us, if we live long enough, are introduced to sorrow.

She ends the first chapter by saying:
That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.
These losses that we face in life are ones that we may always carry with us, but it does not have to remain a bottomless pit of hopelessness. It can be the rip in our hearts through which others can see Jesus. The shattered parts of us that have been lovingly and carefully mended can provide cracks to allow His glory to seep out.

I am on that journey. The journey of reflecting Jesus in the brokenness of life. 



Beautifully said.....i love you!

Tine said...

So beautiful, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Stacie, I can already see the Lord using you and giving you strength
through your sorrow!

To Him be the glory forever and ever, Lisa