A recent tragedy in the midst of my friend Bill Dahl's family touched a nerve. It was like for years, I had pressed the " pause " button somewhere in the recesses of my mind and instantaneously this tragedy hit the " start " button. The video feed began to play itself across my mind in an endless loop...over and over and over.
My brother Alan was home alone in his apartment, a diabetic who suffered a severe diabetic reaction...he died literally 3 feet away from the insulin that could have saved him. You could see where he died on the carpet, on his hands and knees...3 feet from the couch, where on the cushion was his diabetic kit. I'm sure he died seeing it, reaching for it...and then he exited the stage of life, this human drama we are all apart of.
This is the bizarre segment of video that keeps playing itself across my mind. I still remember hearing voices over top of my numbness, " There is a reason for everything " or " there is a reason, and only God knows the answers " and " it's part of God's plan."
For sure! That makes me feel much better. You're freaking kidding me. What kind of mentally disturbed deity writes a script like that. The grand script writer sitting at his computer plugged into the server that brought all creation to existence. Tap, tap, tap tap tap...as those long white fingers strike the keys.
Young man, male caucasian, married, two children, I inflict him with diabetes in mid-twenties...and on March 14, 1996 in the afternoon, character Alan Cole will suffer severe diabetic reaction and die 3 feet from life saving insulin. Character Alan Cole exits stage door...role finished. Enter new character into script.
And really at the end, will we all sit around like at the opening of a hollywood movie, sip champagne and marvel at the script, and at the directors ability to choreography life on the grand stage. Will everyone get to raise their hand and ask why our characters had to go through what they did ?
I remember, deeply...I was haunted, tormented by questions...it was like being surrounded by vultures pecking at my flesh. I cried, I screamed at God...I cursed God. And, what did I hear in response...absolutely nothing. It was absolute dead space...it was as if God was on mute. I was in that vacuum for a hell of a long time...weeks, and months passed.
I had friends that would drop by with a piece of scripture, that was about as helpful as putting a bandaid on a severed artery. There were those that tried to explain the best the could why it happened, the divine predestined script scenario. And then there were those that were just present. They would walk with me, hold me, hug me, touch me...their mere presence was enough.
It can only be described as winter...the season that strips you bare. Exposed and raw, you survive by putting down roots into anything and everything you remember about God. It is in these fragile embryonic roots that we search fo hope. Much like Job, confronting God in the midst of his tragedy...there are no answers, and no reasons. But you get a profound understanding in this evolving mystery of what life is. That earth is a grand stage, in which all the props are in motion, all the characters interact, and in this mysterious drama there are random unplanned collisions...tragedies that awaken us to the fragility of life.
But the God in whose image we are made, impregnates all of creation...he is not the cause of such tragedies, as much as he is in the midst of it with us. Our silence, our tears, our weeping and our greiving is his too. It is in the midst of the profound mysterious healing salve of friends, family, community...humanity, and God together, clinging to one another that a new day comes.
It is a resurrection experience, the death...the shock, the questions...the death of the feeling of God in your life. Saturday...the unanswered prayers, the silence, the dead air space...God on mute. But God, in the midst of humanity, suffering and grieving together miraculously does raise us back to life again.
Lets join our prayers in the grieving and suffering of Liz and Aaron...hold them close, until resurrection does come.