Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The death of a child

Posted by Terry McNichols

As I try to make sense of the seemingly senseless death of a 3-1/2-year-old boy to the scourge of cancer, I am buoyed up by the saints all around me who join the struggle and come up with beautiful ways to explain the seeming silence of God at such a time. Here is something I have taken from the blog of another fellow wanderer, who says it well:
For me, the intense suffering of a small child is a crossroad event, especially when it leads to death. One road coming through the intersection is actually a superhighway. It is characterized by an agony that articulates the very real, very honest and very tempting cry, "Where were You?"

The other "road," actually little more than a climber's trail, dangerous and meandering, staying close to the contours of the way things truly are, is definitely the way less traveled. This path is characterized by an agony that articulates a different cry. Something David Hart wrote in the Wall Street Journal a few days before Ben was born, in response to the tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands:

"For while Christ takes the suffering of His creatures up into His own, it is not because He or they had need of suffering, but because He would not abandon His creatures to the grave. . . As for comfort, when we seek it, I can imagine none greater than the happy knowledge that when I see the death of a child I do not see the face of God, but the face of His enemy."

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