Thanks for the feedback on last week’s information. We continue to gather information about special needs and get more excited with each step forward. Input from the blog-world is what originally pointed our hearts in such a direction. Thank you.
Ginny had the opportunity to share Eliot’s life & lessons with a women’s group this week. She vetoed my being the only male in attendance; such opportunities continue to reveal to us how difficult it can be to even begin to convey what the Lord has done. But we continue to try to do just that.
Our experience has allowed us to witness the gamut of responses that persons illicit upon news of tragedy. We ourselves, have responded a variety of ways at different times; one day so convinced, and the next not sure of anything. If we have gathered something from grief, it would be that such is wildly unpredictable, not following script or template.
Many a reaction centers on the question of why? Implying a larger theme often uttered, even if only whispered within our heads.
Why is there so much bad? So much heartache?
This question comes naturally enough. However, I have recently been pouring over pictures and video of Eliot (more than usual); I remembered a ritual in which Ginny and I would often participate. As was not unusual, we would just stare at Eliot, attempting to take him in, attempting to savor his presence, acknowledging the urgency of such an exercise. Now, this was all unspoken between us, but we both knew what we were doing.
At a point in this exchange, one of us would often say something to the effect of:
“Look at him. He doesn’t know he’s sick. Look at how beautiful he is.
Look at all that is right.”
It was true. There was so much right about him.
One chromosome somewhere along the way had gone wrong. That eighteenth chromosome had placed information in each cell of his tiny body that was error. The list of problems he was born with was horrifying. The medical description was, “not compatible with life”. Our description was beautiful.
It is just such a revelation that makes me think we have the question upside down. I am left to ask:
Why is there so much good?
It is only my familiar experience of joy that allows me to question when pain comes. Otherwise, pain would be all I have ever known and could never surprise.
Philip Yancey’s commentary on Chesterton’s Orthodoxy puts it this way:
Evil’s greatest triumph may be its success in portraying religion as an enemy of pleasure when, in fact, all things we enjoy are the inventions of a Creator who lavished them on the world.
Chesterton portrays all of our interactions with pleasure as sacred remnants of a day gone by- a time before the fall.
Why is so much right with the world? A beautiful sunset. A laugh shared with friends. The taste of chocolate. The act of sex. Pleasure, joy, and beauty are here. Their presence invites perception; while not as obvious as the injustices, the good is right there beside them.
The good and bad side by side. I pray that I would see them both. Acknowledging the bad, and believing in the good.
Truly, our message as believers is one that is two-sided.
For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.
(II Cor 2)
If I only lament my son, I have not accurately remembered his life. Joy and pain, good and bad. I place my hope in the source of all that was good.