Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday's Trust - Child-Loss: Hurricane to My Faith? ~Tommy Prince

Tuesday's Trust

Child-Loss: Hurricane to My Faith?

~Tommy Prince

"What do we ever know that is higher than that power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered?"

"Why does death so catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking.”

The Death of Our Teenaged Daughter… 

Hurricane to My Faith?


Her death has changed everything about how I approach my faith. Everything.


“'Last forever!' Who hasn't prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying.” 



I am a drummer. I have always had a rhythm going through my head… That is until the lights went out. Light turned to Dark. Sound turned to a Dusty Nothingness...


“I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.” 


Christian Music…

Before her death, I could pretty much enjoy most of the Christian music out there...

After Merry Katherine was killed, for quite awhile, I didn't want to hear any of it. Over time, there's been a little bit of opening, and I can hear a select type of song now.


Corporate Worship:

Forget going to church. In terms of a corporate worship experience? No Desire. It seems Grievers and Non-Grievers don't mix well.


“Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute?” 

“There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for years on end. It is all so self conscious, so apparently moral...But I won't have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous...more extravagant and bright. We are...raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.” 


Intimacy with God:

“We sleep to time's hurdy-gurdy; we wake, if ever we wake, to the silence of God. And then, when we wake to the deep shores of time uncreated, then when the dazzling dark breaks over the far slopes of time, then it's time to toss things, like our reason, and our will; then it's time to break our necks for Home.

"There are no events but thoughts and the heart's hard turning, the heart's slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip, and tales for other times.” 

“You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” 


I find myself being very shy about approaching the throne of grace. Casualness about my spiritual life has been eliminated. I cannot take anything for granted now.

The Assuredness Factor has been shattered. When I hear people talk about spirituality in a superficial way, it is Anathema to me.

Scripture very clearly states, "You will know they are My disciples by how they love on each other."

(Jesus speaking,) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

~John 13:34-35 NASB

But all I hear are either fear-based ideations, or superficial claims on God with no love in it. There's a false sense of confidence, and a false sense of power. There seems to be no awe of God in the religiosity around us. 


"On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return. ” 


True Power...

We are not the one in charge here: God is. 

The Bible is not like a menu where you can select what you want.



Child-Loss in regard to my faith is like a hurricane that has swept the foundation right out from under me, and I've collapsed in on myself…

There is no spiritual "FEMA" coming to my rescue. Quite the opposite. Everyone disappears. The recovery period to renovate my faith is snail-slow and turtle-tedious… one centimeter at a time.


“What does it feel like to be alive?

"Living, you stand under a waterfall. You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes, pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, choose your footing, and step into the waterfall. The hard water pelts your skull, bangs in bits on your shoulders and arms. The strong water dashes down beside you and you feel it along your calves and thighs rising roughly backup, up to the roiling surface, full of bubbles that slide up your skin or break on you at full speed. Can you breathe here? Here where the force is the greatest and only the strength of your neck holds the river out of your face. Yes, you can breathe even here. You could learn to live like this. And you can, if you concentrate, even look out at the peaceful far bank where you try to raise your arms. What a racket in your ears, what a scattershot pummeling!

"It is time pounding at you, time. Knowing you are alive is watching on every side your generation's short time falling away as fast as rivers drop through air, and feeling it hit.” 



And now, Christmas is upon us. The hope of the Christ Child. The answer to all our fears about death. The solution to the wrecked results of our child's demise. The one and only way we can survive Grief.


“I am sorry I ran from You. I am still running, running from that knowledge, that eye, that love from which there is no refuge. For You meant only love, and love, and I felt only fear, and pain. So once in Israel Love came to us incarnate, stood in the doorway between two worlds, and we were all afraid.” 

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” 

(In the Annie Dillard quotes, some capitalizations, mine)

Picture, thanks to grieving mother, Faye Marie Miller
Quotes, Annie Dillard, thanks to Goodreads
Scripture, NASB = New American Standard Bible


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