Sunday, February 22, 2015

When Tragedy Looms

Tragedy threatens my church family.  A little boy named Schaeffer, the precious 5 year old son of a wonderful couple that we've known for years, is in a coma and is going through tests to see if he has any brain activity.  This came on his parents so shockingly.

Those of us who know them, but don't feel like we're close enough to invade their grief and time with their son, while they are already surrounded by their most beloved family and friends have instead stayed put and just prayed...and cried...and prayed....and cried...and prayed SO HARD and cried SO HARD.  Why can't we shoulder some of their suffering?  Why can't we fix it?  We want to so badly!  We want God to miraculously heal Schaeffer and give him back to his Mom and Dad.  We don't want them to have a hole in their hearts.  We want their family to be intact and whole.  We want his brothers to never know a day without him until they're all old and gray.  We want this desperately. 

This is all so familiar to me, though I was never there.  Before I was born, my parents went through a terribly similar tragedy.  I always hate the very idea of the incredible pain they went through.  I did not have to experience it...and yet in some ways I did.  There's always been a missing brother in my life.  One I've always missed and wondered about.  I've also often wondered what it was like for my parents, older sister, and grandparents to go through what they did.  I've often pictured it in my brain and even dreamt I was there.  It was enough to scare me every time I was pregnant.  What was I doing exposing myself to the possibility of such fear, and the possibly of such pain and loss?

If Jesus wept when Lazarus died, and mourned when his cousin, John, was killed, I don't think God will condemn me for saying that this just sucks.  I hate it.  I despise death.  I despise the threat of death.  Especially when it comes for our children.

Who am I to have a healthy, gangly 11 year old boy?  What did I ever do right?  Nothing.  I've got to start being grateful for every day with each child.  Purposefully.  Not only do I have no guarantee of another day with my children, they have no guarantee of another day with their parents, or siblings, or their own health.  Am I teaching them to trust in God, or am I just a parent who is of this world and not of my heavenly home?  Will I have prepared them for loss or just given them earthly happiness?  Am I prepared for loss myself?

Lord help our friends.  They are our family in YOU!  Please grant them a miracle!  No matter what, I pray that You will have mercy on them!  Have mercy on them, Father!  Have mercy on us all!  We do not want to say goodbye!

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