I woke up very early this morning, reflecting on the parents I will be with today, who are saying goodbye to their three-year-old son. All those hopes and dreams the parents had for this child are now shattered. And it’s difficult for me to shake the pitiful sight of the young couple clinging to one another, with a mixed look of desperation and despair, the night I stood with them at hospital.
We have all experienced similar images in our lives and sadly we have also experienced real pain in ourselves. But we have tied our despair with faith and hope. Hope is the eternal driving force that remains even when our faith is tested beyond our capabilities. Hope always springs eternal. Yet faith is our seed of comfort and renewal.
In his book 'Beyond the Mirror,' Father Henry Nouwen reflects on death and life in the light of a serious accident one winter's morning. He speaks eloquently of the things that were important in his search for God, but concludes that 'it has been the interruptions to everyday life that have most revealed the divine mystery of which I am a part.'
Deep within each of us is the desire for security. To meet this, we construct around ourselves patterns of living that safeguard us from too much physical, emotional and spiritual discomfort. Interruptions threaten our ordered existence. For some, a break from those comfort patterns can push them deep into an abyss. Their world can collapse and sometimes it becomes impossible for them to climb above the precipice.
As Christians, there is a deep well of spirituality that speaks of God as our security. To lose our security and control over things often becomes the place where faith and hope have to be exercised.
It's often in that uncomfortable place, the place where we are not in control, that we find the interruptions that take something away, and yet, somehow, offer us something new in return.
Labels: Comforting words for child dying, parents who have lost a child from cancer, terminally ill child, words of comfort for a child who has died, words of comfort for death of child