Chapter 4: Why?

pentagon2This is a question that will not be answered this side of heaven.  I have always prayed every day for the safety of my family.  I prayed specifically for my children to be safe and well.  On September 11 when I heard a plane had hit the Pentagon I was barely worried.  Nothing could happen to David.  He would be safe.  As the day dragged on I began to pray.  Late in the afternoon and into the early evening I began begging. I screamed and cried and pleaded as the feeling of dread grew.  For days I held out hope and pleaded, begged and bargained with God to bring my son home safely.

No one, whether they believe in God or not, can understand why terrible things happen.  Why do good people die and evil people live and prosper?  We parents whose children have left this world can drive ourselves insane with this question.  We want answers.  We demand answers.  I have slowly come to accept that I will not know why my son died while I am still alive.  For some reason it was his time.  I’ve gone over and over for years and years all of the things I might have done differently to keep him from being in that place at that time, but he was there, and someday I will understand why.

Still the question gnaws at us:  If God is so familiar with the horror of human suffering, why doesn’t he spare us from having to go through it?

I was so angry at God after David died.  I felt like he had abandoned me.  I wondered if it was payback for something I had done.  I wanted my son back.  I wanted to see the grin that lit up his face, and rub my hand over his bristly short Navy haircut.  I wanted him to watch his son and daughters grow up.  I wanted him to walk the girls down the aisle someday and play basketball with his boy.  I saw nothing but pain and agony and evil in what had happened.  I didn’t know back then that Jesus was right by my side the whole time.

And yet, according to Scripture, grief gives us a heart of wisdom – it deposits a spiritual and emotional understanding that is not found on the outskirts of human existence, but at the very center of what it really means to be alive.

Deeper Still, Phil Ginsburg

Losing my son has been the most painful heartbreaking time of my life.  I’ll never be the same.  I’ll never get over it.  I’ll miss him every day until I die.  Yet somehow, someway, this tragedy has brought me closer to God and to the universe.  I physically feel the pain of parents who lose their children.  I am able to comfort those who suffer instead of running away in fear that their sorrow will rub off on me.  I’ve gone deeper into this life and have begun to understand how temporary and insignificant our earthly pursuits and struggles can be.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.


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