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When it all hurts

December 15, 2010

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building up a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity


There is a lot of pain out there.

Just this week I found out about Mamapundit’s beautiful 17-year-old son’s death following a drug-related crime and weeks in a coma and her valiant fight to bring him justice.

Then I read about Ann Voskamp’s childhood loss of her sister in a tragic accident.

And just tonight I learned of Dana’s (Roscommon Acres) loss of her toddler son Tiggy when a piece of furniture fell over on him.  Dana commented on a post of mine about boys and their activity  just three days before she lost her son.  Her tale is heartbreaking. Heart rending. Heart stomping.

There but for the grace of God . . .

I’ve cried a lot of tears the past few days, and my heart has tightened and my rationalizations have begun.

Lord, that can’t happen to me . . .  I do this or that or,  . . . right? .  . .

I couldn’t take it . . .

Dana says she knows she can’t bubble wrap the world as much as we all would want to.

I am reminded of a powerful statement shared by my “mommy mentor” when my first son was very small, and I was having trouble not checking on him as he slept (don’t we all do that?)

She reminded me that at some point we have to trust in the sovereignty of God.

At some point, it is all out of our hands no matter how careful we are, how many child safety locks we install, how many times we say the warnings, how many times we try to teach them better.

At some point our sovereignty ends and His covers us.

I had a thankfully small lesson in this when Pickle was about 2. I was standing about 3 feet from him when he ran from the kitchen into the dining room. He tripped at the transition between linoleum and carpet and scraped his head on the dining room chair.

As he began to bleed, I wrapped him in my arms to take him to the ER. I realized at that moment that no matter how close I was I couldn’t always protect him.

Of course, I want believe that I can engineer the world to protect him. That I can somehow foresee every danger in his path. That’s not to say we don’t do everything we can to protect him. It is just that sometimes there is nothing we CAN do to protect them.

But GOD, I think, I can’t take it. I could never survive if something like this happened to me.

And I’m right.

Because in today’s grace I cannot. But in tomorrow’s grace, if I accepted it,  I could.

Like His manna in the wilderness, God’s grace is sufficient. Not today’s grace for tomorrow. But today’s grace for today.

Our world is fallen. It is broken. It is coming apart at the seams.

We weren’t built for this world. That’s why it hurts so much.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2010 12:08 am

    “We weren’t built for this world. That’s why it hurts so much.” Good words, so true!

  2. December 18, 2010 10:24 am

    Hello! Just found your blog, and I am the mother of a boy. I cried when I found out I was having a boy. Not out of sadness, but out of self doubt — Could I raise a boy? What do I know about little boys?!

    Now, I realize that all I need to know about little boys is that they are precious, sweet, wonderful little bundles of love and I can’t, for a moment, imagine my life without mine.

    I don’t know Dana, but my heart aches for her and I haven’t stopped thinking about her for days. I’ve heard several other similar stories this week that also stick with me, and I’ll admit that fear has taken over my thoughts. As a first time mom, I’m only starting to realize the magnitude of the love I feel for my son, and how terrifying motherhood can be at times. Thanks for this post – it definitely helps.

    • December 18, 2010 1:59 pm

      Thanks for sharing this Wendy–It can be terrifying at times–I compare it to your heart running around outside your body–but what joy, too! God bless you and your little boy!


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