Monday, August 11, 2014

When life seems just cruel and unfair

This has been a tough week for some people I hold very dear, and there aren't any answers to all our questions of "why?" and "how?" and "surely, not again?!"

I don't know why. I cry and then wring my hands and then shake my fist at the sky and then cry some more, like one of my children in the midst of an angry tantrum. I'm so mad at you, God...please hold me and make me feel better!

Sometimes we cannot figure out the answers because there aren't any, really. 

The thing I hate most at times like this is hearing people try to explain away the pain.

It's better this way.

At least he didn't suffer.

God needed another angel.

God needed her for a special job.

You can try again.

God has a better plan for you.

At least you have another child.

You can always adopt.

I don't know why these things happen. More than that, I don't know why people feel like they have to say something to us to explain our own experience. Maybe they're trying to be helpful...but I wish they wouldn't.

The only thing I know in my heart is that God does not make bad things happen to teach us a lesson, to make us more grateful, or to break us down.

God wants all things for our good.

Jesus knew pain. His mother knew pain, even the incredibly unfair, piercing pain of losing a child, a pain that is like no other pain. 

We may never know why life presents us with cruel losses and suffering, but we know that God understands. Mary and Jesus understand. They have suffered as we do. They stand with us, hold us and cry with us and for us. We are never alone in our pain. We are wrapped in Jesus' arms, covered in his grace, and accompanied in our grief. His tears fall for us and on us and in solidarity with us. 

It's holy, messy, and much more difficult to explain than those platitudes that get tossed around so freely.

And although he may not be as neat and tidy as a convenient explanation of why things happen as they do, I'd rather have the crying Jesus, his face covered with those messy tears, any day.

Please join me in praying for my sweet friend who lost her child this past week.