Tonight I lie here, in my bed, a bit under the weather. Yes, the respiratory bug has come by for a visit and I am the one to catch it. And with me are what my family refers to as my “stinky socks.” Which in fact are my microwaveable slippers. Each slipper has a removable insert which is filled with some sort of grain. When microwaved and reinserted into the slipper, they do a fantastic job of keeping my ice block feet warm and toasty while stinking up the house with their foul odor. I do believe my daughter likened it to the smell of urine. No matter…my sinuses are stuffed up thus disabling my olfactory perception. My feet are happy and I know not how they smell!
I do, however, know a thing or two about sadness. But I am not quite sure how to ease into this with the ‘grace of a lady’ I wish to posses. Therefore I will bounce clumsily into the subject. My heart is quite heavy with the losses incurred this past week in Connecticut. Last week, while I was fighting for the life of my son, I could not take on the additional burden of the unconscionable actions of the young man, as provided by the news coverage. I confess, I had to abstain. It wasn’t until Sunday night I was able to embrace the sorrowful occasion and painstakingly read the names and ages of the victims, knowing full well that the numbers and monikers did not fully represent those affected by such a tragedy. Yes, along with the rest of the empathizing individuals of the world, I am profoundly sad. And with the sadness comes the tidal wave of philosophical questioning that seems to always follow an inexplicable act of evil. The questions such as, “Why did G-d allow this to happen?” And, “If he is a loving G-d, then why does he allow evil in the first place?” Of course my son always seems to come up with the hardest of the hard, in terms of questioning…”Why to innocent little children and not the asshole’s who beat their wives? Or the sons of bitches that abuse kids?”
And along with that line of questioning then comes his own angst about sickness and more specifically cancer. “Why me, when there are other jerk-offs who don’t deserve to even be alive? Why my friends wife, Michelle, when she is the sweetest lady on this earth?” Honestly, this type of questioning can go on for hours. I know it follows me for days. And quite frankly, to be able to rise and smile anew every day I have to deliberately turn the questions off with a knowing that I just might not ever be given the answer…this side of Heaven (and perhaps the other side as well). But I choose to believe G-d and what he says, that he is for us and not against us (I make this choice even with the spiritual interrogations present within me).
Yet amidst these heavy hitters of real life circumstance, we do have the privilege of seeing goodness and miracles. For instance, last week Cole was struggling to be alive, and considering in-patient psychiatric intervention as a result. His dad and I were along side him, fighting for his life…monitoring him moment to moment, showering him with love and compassion, praying for his body, mind, and soul, and reaching out to others for prayer and guidance so we, too, could stay afloat. And float we did. In fact, I had specifically called out to the Lord of Hosts to meet my son on all three accounts (body, mind, spirit) by the weekend’s end. You know what? On Thursday last, Cole’s body was attended to by way of a new medicinal regimen. Friday last, his mind was given a renewed sense of purpose through a new gym membership. Saturday and Sunday last, his spirit was given some soul food which carried with it the nutrient rich infusion of hope…a staple he had been without for quite some time.
So as I write this post, in honor truly of the many people who are experiencing the profound sadness of a significant loss, I cannot offer an insight or wisdom that will soothe the inescapable pain, though I can remind us all that miracles are still a present force in our life. I can remind us that our Heavenly father is mysteriously present and his claim is that of love. I can remind, that even though evil is allowed to walk among us it is not overtaking the world. Goodness, and good, are still the reigning force. I know this not only because G-d says so in his Word, but because if it were not so we would all, each and every one, be overtaken. And even a glimmer of hope would not be possible in the life which had been completely drained of it.
Bottom line (a line I should get to quickly, as drowsiness from the Vick’s NyQuil is starting to kick in), I am sorry to my family for having stinky socks. I am so very sorry to the many people affected by the gunman’s aim. I am so very sorry we have to grapple with the philosophical questions which come as result of breathing. I am sorry to my son, and Michelle, who have to daily deal with the overhanging statistical information regarding their diagnosis. I am profoundly sorry.
And now I must rest.