My friend Renee suffered an excruciating and sudden tragedy last week. Those of us who know her are painfully aware this isn't her first time swimming through crashing waves of heartache and loss. I sat down this morning to write her something that would bring her comfort; something to soothe the cracks in her heart. I can't. That's the god-awful truth of the thing. We all know it.
You see, nothing is going to make this okay.
Doug and Renee's teenage daughter went to bed --- and woke up in heaven. No warning. Just like that. Gone.
Who am I to offer any kind of comfort to a family who is starting a new week without their girl? Let's be honest; even if God himself came down and gave them an explanation, it wouldn't be good enough. Lindsey is gone, and they didn't get to tell her goodbye or whisper love into her ear before she slipped away. It's not fair.
But here's the thing; even in the midst of her suffering, Renee sees light. Even in the dark craw…
Lately my life feels a little like watching one of those cool artists who paints during seminars and conferences. The guy sets this huge canvas up on the stage and puts on cool music and starts throwing paint up there. It's a mess. But he is working so dramatically, and the colors are so vibrant, you keep watching. And at some point it begins to take shape. And then all at once you realize...there was a plan all along, and the scattered spots and swipes of paint take shape to make a beautiful image. And everyone gasps and begins cheering and we all ask each other: why couldn't we see it earlier? Here's an example if you've never seen it before:
I'm not gonna lie; the last couple of years have been rough. I've struggled with clinical depression and worked through some tough personal things. I couldn't really see where God was going with all of it. It felt messy, and pointles…
And I ride, shaky and sick, up the elevator to the third floor and turn the corner and stand with my back against the wall outside ICU. I stare up at the cameras and I stare at the doors and I just stand there, staring, dumb and afraid.
And then that Momma, she comes slipping out of those doors carrying her phone and looking like she just swam the entire ocean and back again. And she says to me, "Hi".
And what do I say? What do I say when her boy is laying in that hospital bed with tubes sucking things out and forcing things back into his broken body? Everything that's rolling around in my mouth feels meaningless and flat. I'm just dumb. Dumb and shaking and afraid.
Me and this sweet Momma, we've poured our tears out over the years; when our boys were doing things they shouldn't, going places they shouldn't, smoking things they shouldn't. And we would just shake our heads at each other and smile th…