October 25, 2012
a grief observed...
Pardon me as I borrow a title from Lewis. It's allowed, titles aren't copyrighted. Bare with me as I ramble a bit--I'm a writer, I deal with words. I have to process things with words, even if they don't always come out the way I want them to or expect them to.
Just over two weeks ago, on October 10th, I feel asleep with this thought on my mind: God is under no obligation to explain himself. It's not a new thought--it's been in and out of my mind this year, especially after re-reading Till We Have Faces (by Lewis). You see, I'm the one who questions. I'm the one who wants answers, even more, I demand them. I can deal with just about anything if there's a good explanation.
But God is under no obligation to explain himself.
And then Thursday happened.
I woke up with the same thought, not giving it much heed, since I often ponder things like that for a long time.
Shortly after I got to work, and after posting that I was praying on a friend's facebook status that I was praying for her nephew (and my dear friend), she asked me for my phone number--then she called. When she told me that our dear boy didn't make it, there was no way to stop the tears. Grief welled and flooded. I could not imagine a world without Will. But he was already gone--already in heaven, already rejoicing.
I won't bore you with the details--I'll just tell you that I work with some very loving people, and they surrounded me immediately. They took care of me. They joined me in my grief. My best friend took the day off work to stay with me. My sister took care of arranging for us to go to Texas so we could be with the Myers family. I am very blessed to have such people in my life.
And what kept lingering in the back of my mind was that thought--God is under no obligation to explain himself.
And for perhaps the first time in my life, I didn't ask him to.
Will was one of the most amazing souls I have ever known. He and I became friends when he as about two--I think our "middle child, creative souls" found kindred spirits in each other. Plus, I knew all the words to the VeggieTales theme song, and Will loved his VTs. I had the job of watching him grow, of helping him grow, and of loving him and being loved by him. I don't wonder a bit at God wanting to bring Will home--sometimes I wonder that God left Will here as long as he did.
No, this time, it was not God that I questioned. And I saw that in the faces and hearts of those who loved Will the most, we all had a peace about Will's homegoing. We all grieved, but we all knew without a doubt that Will was where he always wanted to be--with Jesus. I heard Scott and Shelly both share stories about how they knew in their hearts that it was okay to let Will go. They released him back to God--they always knew Will was only on loan to them. I heard how his Sunday School teacher dreamed about Will going to heaven a week before he did. I heard dear friends reflect that Will had an old soul, and that they always had a feeling he might not be here with us for long. I saw the grace of God flowing through the lives of those who loved Will the most.
So for perhaps the first time in my life, I didn't feel a need to question God. But there was something I couldn't understand--how the world kept going on, and that makes no sense.
(The following was written on October 12th as I sat in a hotel room in Lubbock, TX. This is what I pondered as we drove.)
When we experience profound grief--the sort that stops us in our tracks, we expect the universe to take notice. Time should stop, the very ground we stand on should shudder. The world should come to a screeching halt, if even for a moment, to recognize the loss.
But it doesn't.
The universe takes no notice--it is we who stop, we who pause, who falter in our steps because we fell the impact. Only humanity bothers to reflect, to mourn, to stand up and shout, "This person mattered. They mattered to me. They were here and now they are gone, and I'm going to make sure the world knows who we have lost."
Nature ignores, natures continues on, uncaring, unknowing.
But humans grieve, and we remember, and we are living testimonies of those who have walked beside us.
(End of reflection)
While it still doesn't make sense, this failure of the universe to notice, I am at least glad that I can be a testament to Will's life, to his heart, to his story. Will always loved story, he knew from the get-go that life is an epic adventure, and you might as well experience it on a grand scale. I can tell you stories about him that will make you laugh, that will make you cry, and that will point you to Jesus. If I do nothing else with my life but that, I will consider it a life well-spent.
I miss Will. For as long as I'm here on earth, I will miss him. I'm sure I'll learn to live with the ache and the Will-shaped hole in my heart. And I know that when I pass through that veil and emerge into the next adventure, that Will is going to be there, running towards me, trusting that I'll open my arms and catch him just like I did hundreds of times. I don't know which of us will be more excited, but it won't matter.
And maybe God, even though he is under no obligation to do so, maybe he will give me a hint of the why. He might not. Either way.