I am writing as a follow up to a series of emails that we exchanged a year ago — it revolved around the drowning death of a 5 year old girl. You recommended that I read “Is God to Blame” which I did. It was and is hugely helpful. Thank you again for the corrective lens of a warfare worldview.
This Christmas, I was introduced to the grandmother of the little girl and I told her how deeply I was affected by her granddaughter’s death. She was appreciativate and mentioned how the parents were continuing to struggle with the loss. As I revisited the situation a song “came out of me” – a gift for the family – a song that expresses their anguish and anger but also communicates our hope that is in Christ. With fear and trembling I shared the song with the grandmother. She walked in the room downcast and tearful and left uplifted and smiling. Immediately she told her daughter and son in law about the song.
Last night, I told them about my experience of grief, anger, and journey toward insight. I told them how you and your book had helped me and recommended it to them. Then, I sang the song for them — the mom, dad, oldest son, grandmother, the mom’s sister and her daughter. They were blown away. I explained that I believed the song to be a gift for them from God. They wanted to hear it again, so I sang it again. Now, they want their support group of bereaved parents to hear it. They said they were honored by the song and I tried to explain that, for me, it was part of how I was wrestling with the loss (even though I didn’t know any of them).
The song itself is not didactic, nor was it meant to be. It’s loosely patterned after Psalms that complain to God and then find comfort in his response or in remembering his lovingkindness. Your influence, in my mind, can be seen in what is not said. And by what is emphasized – sacrificial love, the Cross and our future hope of resurrection (I’ve attached the lyrics). What may be a bit suspect theologically is how much of a big deal I make out of their reuinon vs. the joy of being forever with the Lord.
Anyhow, all of that to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! THANK YOU for your passion, your work, your thought, your writing, your time. You are a gift to me and to the Church.
Peace to you and your family,