I’m sitting in our women’s group on Tuesday night. By some miracle I have a cell phone signal in the metal building, and even made several comments about it. In the middle of my boasting of having found the “magic spot” in the building (because no one else got signal) I get a text from my best friend. I will never forget it:
“Call me- emergency.”
So, leaving the building, I return her call. Knowing in my heart it was bad, not knowing who it was about, but hoping, praying it was not really as bad as I knew in my heart it was I waited, not so patiently, for her to pick up the phone. After only a few rings, but seemingly forever, I reach my beloved friend. Then she tells me, words that you cannot, but so wish you can, un-hear. There was an accident. Her brother-in-law is gone.
Silence. I have no words. For once in a very few times in my life I cannot speak. This is not some man who had lived his life of 90 years and went home after a well-served time here on earth to be with his Lord so we all have a party to celebrate a long wonderful life full of devotion to God. This man was 39, THIRTY-NINE! He had two boys, precious 10 year old boys. He has a wife who loves him dearly. He still has duties to fulfill here. His mom and dad are still alive. No parent should have to witness the burying of their child. Ever. His work cannot have been done! He wasn’t finished yet! NO!
His wife deserves to live a full life with the man she loves. His boys deserve to have their daddy there for them on their wedding day. They do not deserve the emotion tied to witnessing his death. This family does not deserve this tragedy. Her mom does not deserve to see her child and grandchildren hurt this way, nor does her sister and her precious kids. No one deserves to have to bear the load that is left by the weight of this tragedy. Why, God, WHY?
Why do bad things happen?
I have no idea….
And, honestly, people can give you explanations until we are bored and all blue in the face… Because there’s sin in the world….We live in a fallen world….It started in the Garden… Bad things will happen until God restores the earth… It was God’s will…God has a plan…blah, blah, blah. Yes, some of those may be true, but do we really say that to those 10 year old boys who only really care about the fact their their daddy is gone? Some of the “canned Christian answers” I have given during trials make me sick to my stomach. Do not hear me as judging anyone here, but do hear me out. Words do not change the hurt. Words do not bring true comfort. God comforts with words. Our words fall terribly short of offering peace in a time like this. People comfort and love by actions. Give words when you are asked for them. Just think about that.
In some precious prayer time with my husband that night and sweet friend the following day I allowed myself to cry out to God. I yelled at him. This is not a “curse God and die” yell, like Job’s wife offers. This is a “Daddy, I do not understand” yell attached to a reverent fear but all-consuming love.
In the silence later that day that still small voice calls to me, beckons me to listen and just be still. I hear “My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts” reminding me whose authority I am under. My feeble mind wants to ask, to just yell at my Savior and say, “WHY?” like a teenage daughter who feels unjustly reprimanded by her well-respected daddy. No, God did not cause the accident. God allowed it to happen. Sure, there are several reasons it could have happened. It’s well above my pay grade to guess at those reasons. What I do know is that we do not serve a God who allows tragedy to happen in vain. My prayer for this family is peace, and for them to see God at work in the middle of this tragedy, in the middle of their deepest pain. My prayer is that his wife and boys can one day rejoice at the number of people who are drawn nearer to God and who accept Christ as their savior because of this man’s life, legacy, and essentially his death.
The God on the mountaintop is surely still God in the valley.
If you are not familiar with the statement I just made (about accepting Christ) or if you want to know what real, true love is, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Message me on Facebook. Find a trusted Christian. Do something. One day in the cause of Christ is better than thousands elsewhere.
Also, please, PLEASE consider a donation to this sweet family as Wendi and her two boys pick up the pieces in the wake of a terrible storm.
This is their Give Forward account:
Heartbroken, but still with all my love,