08 January 2009

being carried

My thoughts tonight are on difficult things that I (thankfully) don't know enough about to write down anything coherent.  That sentence was even kinda hazy actually... Nevertheless, it's a quarter after midnight and I'm sitting in the stillness of my bedroom considering the death of one's own child.  This is a topic that most people obviously wouldn't choose to think about, but tonight I've been looking at it in a peaceful and non-terrifying (somehow) way.

A while after my own child was born, God made me see my lack of control in sustaining my own child's life and it was a bitter taste of that side of parenthood that seems to crouch in the corners of our minds and which we try to ignore.  But what about the ones who are thrown headlong into that dark corner? What about the ones are forced to deal with this thought that I can barely approach without tears?

My mother spoke today with a family acquaintance who lost her only daughter over 20 years ago in a terrible car accident.  All these years later, this poor lady is still so smothered by grief that she more or less can't live a normal life.  It's written all across her face and every time you speak to her, she always always ends up talking about her daughter and usually her death.

Today she was mad because she had been to a Bible study where there was a lady talking on and on (the way mothers will sometimes do) about her own daughter and her motherly concerns for her even though she's a grown woman.  The still-grieving woman told my mom that the only thing she could think was, "Have you ever watched your daughter die on the side of the road?"

So I was rolling all of this over in my mind as I was laying down with my kiddo tonight and I wondered lazily what the response would have been had she actually asked the woman that question.  And I thought, ya know, what are the odds that the other woman would say, "Yes, actually... I did watch my daughter die... and yes, it was horrible and yes, I still hurt like most people can't imagine and yes, I still think about her every single day... but I'm living my life anyway because not living my life isn't going to bring her back or do anybody else any good at all."

And then I thought of my sweet mother-in-law.  Because I'm fairly certain that she would answer that question pretty close to exactly that way.

And I thought about how different my mother-in-law is from the other lady who I've been talking about.  And I just had to wonder why there was a such a stark difference...

I could only come up with one answer:


Because some people, in the face of grief, look at God like an outsider.  Like they're standing in the center of the circle of their grief and God is just outside the edge.  And they may reach out to hold His hand, but it's always at arms length.  

But some people, in the face of grief, allow God into that grief and cling to Him the way a sick child clings to his parent... giving up everything and knowing that He can and will take care of it all.

I sincerely pray that I (or anyone reading this will) never have to face these things, but there are so many areas in my life where I could certainly stand to let God in a little bit more.

How much sweeter could my life be if I allowed myself to be carried?

"...casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (I Peter 5:7)