Monday, October 24, 2011

I Don't Have the Words

For the past month my father-in-law has been in the hospital. Less than a year ago he had brain surgery for a non-cancerous tumor that they were able to remove 90% of successfully. Inexplicably, it grew back with a vengeance.

About ten days ago he had another brain surgery to remove 90% of the new tumor. Since then he has undergone a series of surgical procedures because one thing keeps leading to another - a drain for fluid - a screen for a blood clot - a traecheotomy to prevent pneumonia, etc.

So far, by God's grace, he has rebounded exceptionally well after each one. And he's almost 81.

So it's hard to explain why the father of three boys, two of which have been on Ryan's baseball teams, passed away tonight after a long battle with Crohn's Disease which isn't normally fatal. He was about my age.

When Dan and I spoke with his wife about an hour after she said goodbye to her husband, I asked God for the right words to say. Words of comfort and hope. Words that would somehow strengthen or console her.

"I'm sorry" sounds so pitifully inadequate. But I am deeply sorry she has to experience such a tremendous loss and I said so.

"God loves you" doesn't sound much better to a grieving widow with three young sons, but I said that too. Then I added it probably didn't feel like that right now and that I do not know why God let this happen.

Because I don't. I don't know.

Sometimes you just don't have the words to say.

When I find myself in that place I am so grateful for God's Word. Especially verses like Romans 8:26...

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

1 comment:

lin said...

there's a story told in 4 panels about 1. a kid who told his mom he saw an old man crying and 2. his mom says "what did you say to him?" and 3. (with a picture of the kid on the man's lap, head buried in his shoulder) the kid says "nothing, I just helped him cry."