Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Encounter

In our Thanksgiving Day group of seventeen, there was a friend's father-in-law who joined us. In our post-supper sharing time, it came to light that he was a pastor in the midwest and that his first wife had died in a car accident over a decade ago, in a car driven by her own 16 year old son. When I later asked him how he managed that event in his life, he told me that it "took him apart". He said he couldn't sleep, he couldn't eat, he couldn't function. He was left with four grieving boys to raise on his own. When the boys grew up and left home, he hated to come home at night to an empty house. He eventually found our friend's widowed mother and they happily married each other.

Since he was a pastor, I asked him if God ever "spoke" to him, did he ever get any light on such a devastating event? He said, "No, nothing." He then added this explanation, which I am paraphrasing here. I found it to be both wise and consistent with my own experience. He said, "The Bible says this broken world is sentenced to decay. The decay comes randomly. God doesn't choose one to live and one to die. It is the process of decay that affects us all in some way". That's exactly what it feels like to me. Silence from God and random decay.

Then he added, " We trust Him anyway. There are no answers here. We just trust Him anyway, with all we know and all we don't know".

So I am doing that today, and every day, and missing my son terribly all the while.

I love you and miss you, Joey. It isn't the same without you. Your absence is profound...

8 comments:

Robin said...

I wonder whether Thanksgiving is the most difficult holiday . . .

Beautiful post, Karen.

Beckypdj said...

Very wise man.

We had 17 at our house for Thanksgiving too. We could have had 100 and the hole would have been there anyway.

Hugs to you and your family as we all continue on through this holiday season without our red haired sons.

Anonymous said...

It's not like we have one life, it's like we have many, or stages. One stage is filled with happiness and joy. Yes, it has it's struggles but we are content and functioning. Then we walk into another stage of life with incredible sadness and grieving. The stage of happiness and joy appears so innocent and lasting forever but now seems a lifetime ago or another life all together, impossible to recapture; ruined by grief.
I believe the Lord is in control of every stage of our lives and will never abandon us on this journey.
I also find I have many questions that go unanswered.
Gary

Anonymous said...

Karen That is an awesome story. God does lead us to those too help. Was a hard day and then yesterday and then today. Just want to do what is habit. Is hard, very hard. Love you Sharon

karen gerstenberger said...

I'll bet that he loved being asked, Karen. I will bet that he loved you for wanting to hear about his feelings, and loved sharing them with you. He sounds like his wisdom is deep, gained from living the life that he was given. I'm thankful that he was led to your generous table.
(How awful for the dear son who was driving the car; I hope he is okay.)

Liza's Eyeview said...

Pastor Charles talked about Heaven today at church. It was great teaching. While listening, I was thinking of Joey and you and that how one day your sorrow will be replaced by joy when you get to see Joey once again. I know it's still a roller coaster ride ... hang in there. Thanks for sharing this Thanksgiving encounter. Profound insight, and faith.

Marina said...

Karen:
I've read this post and least 6 times, I just keep reading it over and over. I'm drawn to it. I want to comment everytime I come, but I haven't until today.
Random decay -it somehow makes it easier (a bit) I like how he said God doesn't choose some to live and some to die. There is comfort in that.
And I'm with you silence from God, but I know He's there. All I can do is trust Him that it will all be ok even if my heart feels broken into a million pieces, it has to be ok....someday.

Love you and thank you for sharing.
Marina

Anna Looper said...

Wow....Karen...so true and I feel it constantly...that there is so much more and that this life is just the best we can do with what we have at the moment.

I live so close to God that I never feel as though good enough--is good enough. It feels like something is missing--and though I do not mourn as you do---I do understand what this pastor meant.

I plant flowers and they decay and they are not as vibrant as I know the ones in heaven will be. I just know--because there is the One who lives in me that tells me so. He whispers to me constantly that ---

The joy I feel today is nothing compared to the completeness of His presence. I long to be in heaven. I long for you not to be lonely. I long to sit and chat with Esther, Mary, Sarah, Rachel, Eve....and Joey....cause we can and we will.