Wednesday, April 19, 2006

knight, death and the devil

at midnight she said, "how can i trust a God who is deaf to the cries of a mother asking for the protection of her child?" the words from my wife's pillow pounded me into restless sleep last night. monday (april 17th) marked the exact 5 month anniversary of the suicide of my friend todd. as i was on my way to work, my mother called to deliver the heaviest and most horrific piece of news i could have imagined- my 10 yr-old cousin had just died in a freak accident at home. i parked my car at work and clocked in. all day i was surrounded by kids who want to die and i hated them for being alive. i hated todd. i hated God for allowing the death of my cousin, so full of life... and giving life to these kids who want to die... i arrived home and held my son and wept.
the next morning, we had breakfast with todd's parents who were in town. my aunt and uncle were large in the room as we spoke of loss, healing and meaning in tradgedy. both todd and benjamin died in hangings... but hangings of very different kinds- one a suicide, one an accident, both a fucking tragedy. this is not the way things are supposed to be...
i'm not sure if i should post this, oh well. help me God...

12 comments:

nathan Barrett said...

keep posting, it's not supposed to be...
growing up is getting less and less fun

erk said...

Phil, Thank you for sharing your grief. Please know that Chad and I will be praying for healing and comfort in all of this...I never really know what to say...

Aaron said...

phil, i don't really know what to say either. reading this post brought me to tears. i have all the same questions as you... as a father... as a friend... as a Christian. what the hell is wrong with this world? where is God?

i don't know, man...
i just don't know what to say/think/do.

i will offer my feeble prayers on your behalf phil, ruth, sylas.

elnellis said...

thank you all for your words. it's been tough... my theology doesn't work here.

bryan said...

phil,
thank you for your courage to post with such a raw and honest heart.

as i try to type, my words just feel stupid to me...

cris said...

maybe here is our public grief, our public weeping. I sit here with tears in my eyes reading your words, and I sat with welling eyes yesterday talking to Ruthie. And, with everyone else, my words feel stupid.

It is so risky to love. And, damn, I don't even do it that well.

I had a dream last night I let Lucas fall on his face and get hurt and that was enough for me to wake up feeling horrible and afraid...

chuck said...

i'm glad you held sylas and cried. i'm glad your being cut by this all this and not falling into silence and desensitization. i'm here if you need anything bro.

Uncle Tom said...

Having a hater of God brother (Mark) who committed suicide, and a vibrant Christian brother (Ross) die of a heart attack at 46 and this with my nephew, Benj, I'm grateful that I'm a Christian who believes in the living Lord as revealed in the Scriptures. I hate death because it reminds me that I'm hater of God like the rest of humanity. I love the resurrection of our Lord Jesus who is the resurrection and life to those who believe Him. Because I have a firm belief in the Sovereignity of the Christian God

Uncle Tom said...

I believe that everything that is done, is for His glory. This is what I had told my son, Abraham. As he wept and I wept, it was His Holy Spirit and His living Word that comfort us. I'm grateful for His Church who shines the most in our time of need. How deep it is when someone loves you by praying for you. This is what true Theology is all about.

elnellis said...

thanks for commenting uncle tom, your words are encouraging, these must be very difficult things to discuss with your children who knew benjamin as a peer. no human being is ever old enough to have to deal with death, it undoes you every time, and like you said, confronts us with our fallenness. i love your last words- that true theology will always take you to encounter with the other: in tears, in sweat, in blood, in christ-like love. and as i write that i feel a disconnect between what i say i believe and what i feel in this experience...

hannah said...

hey phil.
i read this entry a couple times, and i seemed to cry every time. it does seem so hard to understand. why did it happen? we probably will never know.

i sometimes get angry, wondering why God would let such a thing happen. i asked a friend one time why God seems to take away those who are so dear to us..those who seem to be so happy. and he said that maybe God wants to take them away from all this pain and suffering here, in this world. (not that he loves us less or anything)

i just don't really know.
at times like this, all we can do is trust God and realize that He is in control, and that He sees a picture far beyond what we could ever imagine.

hope you have a great week.

-hann

elnellis said...

thanks hannah, blessings on you as you process all of this too.