It has been six weeks since my previous post and that’s because words lost all meaning when my sister called me to tell me there was no more hope for her little boy. Then the sounds and words that came from my mouth are not ones I can rewrite. There is nothing that anyone can say to remove this awful thing, to mend their destroyed hearts, to bring back their child. For a while shock left us speechless. Later that evening we had to break the news to our children and my husband struggled to get the words out. How do you pass on this pain to your kids? Later we held each other as we cried aloud, our tears swallowing any attempts to pray.
I am a cracked pot, not really useful for much. I’ve been told that the cracks are good as those will better reveal the treasure that hides inside. I hate how it hurts though. I have been told to look after myself but I don’t know how to and I want to look after her instead. I am devastated that I couldn’t protect my younger sister or prevent the harm that came to her child. I’m clumsily hoping to fix her heart with my feeble attempts and struggling to accept I can’t. Their loss as parents is uniquely theirs and I cannot enter into that private space, all I can do is wait at the entrance. I can hope to show her love, to walk beside her and help carry her heavy burden. We can weep together. We can remember him and do things for his sake. We will never stop grieving his loss because we will always miss him and would never have stopped loving him.
The one helpful thing I know about mourning is that it is better when we don’t do it alone. Romans chapter 12 talks about what love looks like in action and it reminds us that we are to mourn with those who mourn. Our comfort comes with being together, even silently. Knowing there is another person who sits with you in your sorrow helps in a way which is hard to understand. But I hate to be told to be strong! We can’t ignore the grief just as much as we can’t ignore the death.
In verse 19 of Romans 12 it says “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. There is no denying that my sister and husband have been grievously robbed. They were robbed of their child, shockingly fast, at Christmas time; and no person on this earth can avenge their loss. There is only one who has overcome death, only one who can pay back what has been taken from them and his name is Jesus. I think it is no co-incidence that another name for him is ‘The Word’. Speaking about him in John chapter 1 it says: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ and then in verse 14, ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’
Sometimes what we say to each other is meaningless, our words are trite and in our pathetic attempts to help we end up hurting. When all our words fail us and we are unable to comfort one another, there is only one place to turn that carries any meaning and significance beyond the hurt. There is only one Word that brings life and hope and healing, who knows our suffering and shares in it. He is the only one who has and will redeem us from all that has been lost, taken from us or by us.
I am unable to speak but I can know.
Only One Word.