The tragedy of suddenly losing my husband and our child’s father left us shell-shocked, tossed and torn. Our boat of three shrunk to two, and the captain at the helm was instantaneously gone. He was only forty and our son was four. What happens when the unthinkable happens and the unsinkable takes on water and begins to sink? How have we stayed afloat, now over three years later, in our shaky little rowboat?
Grief and faith are strange bedfellows. They wrestle with one another constantly. Grief says ‘have faith’ and Faith says ‘why grief?’ Enter a loving Heavenly Father into this complicated conglomeration and the questions compound upon themselves, stacking sky-high. The unwavering truth is no one on this earth knows why these tragic losses occur. So what do we do with that knowledge?
We are reminded, poignantly and painfully, that life is just a short journey. We may feel as if we are in “the prime of our lives” in our 40’s, but no one is guaranteed even one day. We are forced to reckon with the awareness of our own mortality. And as we face these things, we are changed indeed. We see life as unpredictable and able to flip on a dime. We then spend our precious time trying to make a positive difference. We see the world differently with new lenses…lenses that are crystal clear as to what really matters.
People matter. Love matters. Kindness matters. We were never told our lives would be simple. We were not promised freedom from tragedy. Followers of Jesus often experienced daunting life situations, from stonings to imminent deaths as martyrs. His own mother watched her Son die on a cross. No, faith doesn’t guarantee easy living. What it does do is provide an on-call Physician who resides with us in our pain. Faith is a soft place to land, a peaceful space to be still and know.