The first piece of devastating news comes via email on a nondescript afternoon. Afterward, I sit in a blue chair in my living room staring out the window in disbelieving shock for I’m not sure how long.
How could this happen? Why do things like this happen?
The second comes over the phone. I sit down (in the same chair) and listen until all I can do is cry, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” After we hang up, I scream and pound my fists into the cushions until my heart is exhausted.
The third (why is there always a third?) starts with a casual “Did you hear about …?” and my face flushes with shock and sadness and embarrassment, because I had not yet heard.
None of it is happening to me. Yet I walk through the next days quietly, not wanting to disturb the air, unsure what to do or say or how to think about life and death and sickness and health; who gets to have it, who doesn’t. Why none of it seems fair.
The following Sunday, I stand next to my family in a pew at church. We’re in this season of celebrating Immanuel—God with us—but God seems distant and harsh and confusing right now. The words Holy, Holy, Holy catch in my throat, they’ve snagged themselves on a fragile hook that feels like the preciousness of life.
When the next song starts, the one about God’s goodness, the one that attests to God’s name being worthy to be praised during the good times and the bad, I stop trying to sing. Tears fall instead.
I believe in God’s goodness.
But sometimes, Truth slams up against reality.
… to read the rest of this essay, (one that was so hard to write), please click on this link to Coffee+Crumbs.