Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let Us Not Keep Silent

I have so much that I could say about watching others suffer and trying our best to share in their sufferings. How I know the Lord more nearly, how I trust him more dearly, how I love others better because they have opened their hearts to help me see him in the midst of their pain. I've been thinking about it anew as a beloved family in our church begins a path filled with the unknown but that has already been marked with suffering. And I've been thinking about it as I read this blog, written by a friend of a friend, the mom of a precious three-year-old girl whose body is wracked by cancer. From the first time I read her blog, I have been a faithful reader and pray-er; try to read for yourself and not marvel at God's grace in this mom's heart and the beautiful way that she expresses herself in words.

Today, I read this, and I think it is a good word that needs to be read much more widely than her blog:

Many of you have expressed concern that you do not know what to say or fear that you may or have said something wrong.  Here’s the deal – this is a time of wrestling – for all of us – there is no neatly packaged set of words that can change this reality or take away the pain of it.  I am not expecting such from you and you should not expect that from yourself.  The point of words are two-fold:  to be an expression of love and care, and to sort through what all of this means and is.  Wrestle with your words.  Do not give up because it is hard or because they seem insufficient.  They are, on one hand, utterly insufficient!  Again, words will not take away this reality or the pain of it.  Yet words have power!  Words make something more real!  Remember Christ is called The Word!  God is clearly all about words.  And while the book of James makes it clear, we can bring about great harm with our words, please do not keep silent for fear of your words being imperfect.  This reality with Allistaire is forcing us all to pull out all the big questions of life – they are out in the open for us to examine, to attempt to name and describe and understand.  Let us not fear our insufficiencies so much that we remain quiet and shove the questions back into the recesses.  I speak and I write because I want to explore this land of reality I am in.  I head this direction and then see no, it is not quite right or it is lacking in some way or overemphasizes or underemphasizes something of import.  But I must strike out if I am going to have a shot at learning this place in which I dwell.  Do not fear being trite when conveying God’s word to me – God’s word is mystery and wonder and gigantic truth, too big for any of us to scale, but say it, name it, declare it and know that we both see that we are touching mystery.  Ann Voskamp talks in her book, “1,000 Gifts,” about how when God had Adam name the animals, there was a way in which the naming was about taking possession, about taking hold.  We use words to hook into realities that we might better take them into ourselves and consider their many facets, dimension upon dimension.  Our words can never be enough to conquer and dominate these enormous realities, and yet, why deprive ourselves?  Let us begin, as we grapple, to more and more take hold of that which God has given us and convey love to one another at the same time!
 Read her blog and pray for this beautiful family. And do you know someone else who is suffering? (If you do not, consider opening your heart to love more people, because this earthly path is characterized by such.) Let us not keep silent. If you do not know what to say, express your love and desire to pray; and then DO pray, and as you pray, grapple with how the already-not yet of a triumphant Savior and a bondage-to-decay world. She says it better than I can, so I will not attempt to improve upon what has already been said ... just, let us not keep silent.


Addie said...

Thanks, Molly. I marveled at that post, too, because I've felt dwarfed by her skill with words. She's got the ability and perspective to dive in, really wrestle, and come out reflecting God's goodness and glory.

Molly said...

Addie, I am continually taken aback by Jai's way with words. Add to that the depth of her faith, her knowledge of Scripture and God, their story and fantastic pictures... I feel like I sort of know her, would very much like to know her, and in the meantime, I'll pray for her and occasionally leave "I'm Addie's friend and I'm praying for you" comments on her blog.