One of the questions one is tempted to ask when loss happens is ‘Why?’ and often more personally, ‘Why me?’ As you may have read on my ‘Will You Carry Me?’ Website, it is actually a question I chose not to ask when Solomon died, but I am aware that it is a very common response to loss of any kind. We seek to find answers, and with a loss like a miscarriage or stillbirth, that question is often left unanswered.
But maybe, a more helpful question, if you choose to go down that route, is ‘Why not me?’
Over the last couple of weeks I have been reading Jerry Sittser’s book ‘A Grace Disguised.’ It is a very contemplative look at loss in general (he lost his mother, wife and youngest daughter in one day in a car accident). One of the chapters of his book is called ‘Why not me?’ Jerry questioned why it was that he, a relatively good man had lost so much, whilst the drunk-driver who caused the accident failed to be brought to satisfactory justice. Often we seek justice, he comments, but the reality is, we would hate to live in a world which was completely just – then there would be no room for God’s grace.
If every bad thing I did was held against me forever, and only bad things happened to bad people and good things to good people, where would there be room for the lavish grace of God?
So would I eliminate loss?
Although I don’t get to see Solomon grow up here, I know that actually his death will be completely redeemed and I will just have to be patient until I get to meet him in Heaven. (Please don’t assume I am happy he died, or that it wasn’t painful, but just that I understand there is a greater perspective and redemption of all things in heaven for those who love Jesus.) And, as I talked about in the last post – the very fact that I had to face death has given me with a life I hadn’t known before. In the face of loss, I have received heaps of God’s undeserved grace.
‘So, God spare us a life of fairness! To live in a world with grace is better by far than to live in a world of absolute fairness. A fair world may make life nice for us, but only as nice as we are. We may get what we deserve, but I wonder how much that is and whether or not we would really be satisfied. A world with grace will give us more than we deserve. It will give us life, even in our suffering’ - A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser