In the world you will have tribulation.
–The Carpenter from the hills of Galilee
As I write this essay, a business colleague and close friend of mine and her husband are facing a catastrophic loss. Their youngest son was involved in an accident and has suffered a brain injury. Brain injury is a very slippery slope. I know this terrain well from experience because our daughter was also the victim of an accident, which left her with a brain injury. The enormous impact on the lives of everyone involved is due, in part, to a vast amount of uncertainty about recovery. The brain is still a mystery in medical science, unlike the heart or the liver. And the prognosis for recovery is never clear.
If you have never experienced a catastrophic loss, I hope and pray that you never will. For those who have had to face utter devastation, my experience has been that they fall into two groups: the first is that they allow it to decimate their lives; the second is that they choose to “absorb” it, and in a paradoxical way, find a depth of Grace and enlightenment that never before existed. My friend and her husband hail from the latter camp.
In the morning twilight of our daughter’s accident, I was driven to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. I knew that there would be great suffering ahead for all of us, and to say that I was terrified would be an immeasurable understatement. All I knew was that I was facing a beast that was both alien and cruel, and I begged our Creator for Divine intervention. When someone dies, there is closure over time; with catastrophic loss, there is no such thing as closure.
In the preface of this book, I made no apologies for my Spiritual convictions, and mentioned that I have been on The Road Less Traveled for my entire life – I did not choose it, but rather, it chose me. With these statements in mind, life has also “chosen” my friend, her husband, and their dear boy to face the same beast. But this much I know to be true – they will face it with fierce courage, loving hearts, and a God who will strengthen them, help them, and uphold them. And if you are wondering why a loving God would allow us to suffer, please read on…
If you know someone, who is facing a catastrophic loss, offer the ministry of your presence – simply show up, offer practical support like meals and housecleaning, and say very little. Your presence will offer support and comfort far more than “words.”
© John G. 2022