I have watched a lot of suffering this week. There have been 2 families that I was very close to at one time or another that have suffered tragic losses this week. One family lost a newborn child. The baby was having some serious complications during the pregnancy, and after giving birth, he was not able to overcome them. Making it more of a shame is that this child would have belonged to a great family. They are people of strong faith, and it is obvious to anyone who has had any contact with them that there is a tremendous amount of love in that family.
Another family is suffering the loss of someone who decided to take his own life. This is someone that I personally was very close to during my sophomore year in high school. He was a good guy. He appeared to have a great family, and a good life. He was good in athletics and popular at school. In fact, he once tried to set me up with a girl that he knew I was attracted to, only to find out that she actually wanted to be with him. He seemed stable and happy; at least for that year. I left the school the next year, and hadnít spoken to him since. I heard rumors from other people that I was still in contact with. I know that he ended up getting his girlfriend pregnant in what I believe was his senior year. Details after that are very sketchy, but I think he got involved with drugs and ended up doing some jail time for it. It seems his life just went on a tail spin at some point.
Something like this tends to put things in perspective. I have written about things in my life not going the way I intended them to, or just going wrong in general, but losing someone like those 2 families is something completely different; particularly in the case of a suicide. But the things that have gone wrong in my life donít compare. Whether the child lost is a newborn, or a grown man, it has to be the most painful thing someone can go through, and I grieve deeply for both of these families.
But hereís the thing about both of those stories: neither family could control the fate of those lost. My friend, who lost her baby, had no control over what happened. She had to sit back and watch. Fortunately, sheís a Godly woman, and as much pain as she must be in, I believe that she will accept it as Godís will and believe that somehow it will be for the best, but she will have to accept it because she could not change it. The family of my friend who committed suicide is in the same boat. They didnít see it coming, and even if they had, there is no guarantee that they could have done anything about it. They have to accept it, because they could not change it.
But what if you were God? With all the power of creation, and control of heavenly hosts, changing a personís fate is as simple as a thought. But when His son was on the cross, He didnít change a thing. How much pain must He have been in? Despite knowing that His son would rise again, how difficult must it have been to see Jesus go through that? The torment of watching Jesus dread what He knew was coming and the pain He felt as Christ was being tortured and hung must have been unbearable. The Bible says that Jesus even asked His Father if there was any other way to accomplish their goal. Godís son was asking Him to save Him from His fate, and yet God changed nothing. In fact, He was even forced to turn His back on His son during what was perhaps the worst moments of His pain.
Compassion is not one of my most prominent personality traits, but even as cold hearted as I can be, I cannot imagine how difficult that must have been. The believers in these two families must have a much more clear idea of what God went through than I do, so for them my heart is heavy today. But as I try to empathize with them during this time, I canít help but be grateful for the pain I feel on their behalf because it helps me to empathize with what God went through watching His own Son die. Being in touch with those emotions, even on such a small scale, helps me appreciate the gift that I have been given that much more. I wish that everyone I loved could feel as strongly about it as I do, but I understand that you canít appreciate any gift until you have accepted it. More importantly, I pray that the sacrifice that those two families have had to make will influence people to accept that gift. I feel confident that it was Godís plan all along, so if nothing else, they can take comfort in that.
But as the snow falls on me tomorrow, and I have no milk or bread, and no way to procure any of it, Iím sure that I will continue to complain about the weather. I will continue to complain about money, or the lack of it. I will complain to God about my dad being sick from chemo, despite the fact that he is still alive today. I will keep complaining about the oven temperature not being correct, and the power bill being high, and on and on and on.
Because as wise as I may or may not become, and as grateful as I am for Gods gift, Iím still human, and life still isnít fair.