It’s taken me all day to write this post. I know I need to finish it but in order to do that I have to go somewhere I don’t want to go. I have to allow myself to sink into the dark place. I’d rather go on about my day and not think about it or pretend hard things don’t happen. It’s so much easier to write light and silly stories. They make me feel good and I hope they make you laugh even if it is at my expense. But several of you have told me you like this blog because it’s honest and real. The honest reality is that life on this side of heaven can be brutal.
There is a family in my community that just lost their 2 year old son. I don’t know them personally but we have mutual friends. The cause of his death was an accident that could’ve happened to anyone and he was gone in less than 2 days. It makes me sick to even think about it. I don’t even want to write about it. It’s too hard. It shakes around everything I believe and leaves me wondering. How does God choose our story? Why do some people get seemingly good ones and other people get tragic ones? What is He doing? Is He really good after all? I hate that when horrific events occur I hurl these questions at God as hard and as fast as I can. Faith is so much easier to explain when everything’s great. Ask me what I think about God when my kids are healthy, my marriage is good, and I’ve got money in the bank. But that’s not faith at all, is it?
This family has been so heavy on my heart this week I can barely give them a thought and the tears come. We’re not supposed to lose our children. Children are the light of our lives so it’s to be expected that when they are taken from us all we’re left with is darkness. I can’t imagine this kind of darkness. It’s unfathomable.
So many people are praying for the Heard family and I am among them. People are praying for all the things you pray for like strength, comfort, rest, peace, etc. and these are all amazing things that God says He offers us. I’ve even prayed those things for them too. But the more I let myself go to the dark place, the more my prayer for them has changed. I find myself praying 2 words: Draw near. The Word says God is close to the brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18) and I believe that’s true. I imagine it something like this:
Sitting in a dark closet, alone, completely devoid of light. Then God crawls under the door. Draw near. He doesn’t burst in because the light would be too blinding. He doesn’t want to hurt their eyes so He comes into their darkness. Draw near. He sits next to them in silence, just listening to them breath. Knowing this is all they’re capable of doing but it means they’re alive. Draw near. This may go on for a long time. Even if they don’t acknowledge Him, they find comfort knowing that He’s there. Draw near. Then at just the right moment, He lights a match. It’s a small flame, not too bright. They are finally able to see what’s around them. They’re finally able to see the door to leave the dark place. Draw near. They can choose to stay or they can choose to go, either way He’s with them.
I pray God is in the darkness with this family who’s endured so much loss. I pray He is cozied up next to them, listening to them breath. And I’m praying that in His time He will light a match so they can find their way out. I have no answers for this kind of tragedy. Many times I can sum up obscene heartbreak because it is the result of sin in our world. But this didn’t happen because of sin. It was an innocent accident. I can’t wrap this one up with a bow. I can’t tie up the loose ends. I’m only left to pray and trust His plan is bigger than my understanding. Some might say that sounds naïve. I say what else do I have? Faith in God is the only hope I’ve got in this world so I might as well cling to it with my everything.
If you have a minute, would you mind praying for the Heard family? They are dear to so many and their loss has affected more people than they know. Thank you in advance for going before the Lord on their behalf.