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|source: Craighton Miller|
I’ve never lost a son, but I know two women who have. Both dear, both young, both undeserving of that kind of pain.
In One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp writes that perhaps those tears in the canvas of our life ― the places where we are raw and hurt and wonder Why God? ― are the places where we can see Him most clearly. If we choose. I think those are also the places we can try to patch up with tar and feathers, using scathing words against the One who allowed those rips in the first place.
I think of another mother, a very young one, who wondered why she was going to have a son. I have been there, although unlike Mary, I was not a teenager nor unmarried. But I’ve flipped those flashcards around in my head, too: Why me? What am I going to do with a son? Am I ready for this? Will I ruin him? Scar him for life?
Those perhaps not rips but puckers, places where we’ve doubted the goodness, the grace, the all-knowingness of a Heavenly Father.
We have a second son, a Compassion child, who lives in the scattered islands of the Philippines. Does his mother wonder, too? Why so many? Why so little to work on? Is she embarrassed to have to reach out to help support her children?
All different tears in varying stages. I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve all asked the same questions in different wording, different languages.
Do we see God in the pain? I imagine my heart with tiny pin-pricks straight through, some larger than others … and a flashlight shining from behind, revealing stars. There’s something about stars, isn’t there? Hope. Vastness. Waves of feeling the universe.
I want to swim in the pools of light instead of hiding in the shadows. Finding myself closer to the Comforter, the Giver, whether I feel He is those things at that moment or not.
Because He is in there, somewhere.
At Christmas, I miss those two unknown men who were lost, my uncle and brother-in-law. I reflect on the hurt of their mothers. And I pray extra-hard that God will seep through the holes and continue to heal, twenty or forty years later, with the promise of glory-to-come.