AUSTRALIAN television star, Ada Nicodemou, lost her third child, Harrison, on August 7, 2014. Little Harrison was stillborn. It was about the same day we found out that our baby, Nathanael, would not survive outside his mother’s womb. (We lost Nathanael on October 30, 2014.) We immediately resonated with Nicodemou’s story. Even in her family’s pain was something of an encouragement to us that we weren’t the only ones to be stricken by such incomprehensible loss.
As I read a recent tabloid report, I couldn’t help but wonder at this type of pain that leaves us forever disembodied from life past:
“It’s not that I will never be a complete person again, but I just wonder... How can I say? I just feel I can never be completely happy again because this has happened.”
To read those words, “I just feel I can never be completely happy again because this has happened,” leaves me shaken to my core for a human being so lost in the present to a coming, yet strangely distant, eternity. There is such helplessness in that statement; such resignation.
From our Christian worldview, we don’t quite see it that way. If anything we are more interested in heaven than ever — the hope of reconnecting with all our children.
There is fodder for generalised learning regarding loss in this.
What has changed us, irrevocably, has, for a time, redefined life. It has taken us into an unexpected and much unanticipated direction, without return to what was. We will be forgiven for doubting God’s sincerity in providently caring for us — even in this. No wonder we cannot see any hope at all. This is the dire outcome for not only those who lose loved ones, but those who lose other things; marriages, careers, dreams stolen away.
What we never had any say over now taunts us and haunts us. We want life back the way it was. But that can never be. We have to accept a new future without the precious thing we have lost. That is so hard to comprehend, let alone live out.
And we are left toying with the idea: “I just feel I can never be completely happy again because this has happened.”
We understand that there are powers that contain us there, inextricably, in a dark milieu. Those self-same powers should compel us into the light…
… of hope!
This is where the invisible invincibility of hope comes in. We are to hope for good things, because remaining anchored in a hope that is hopeless is sickening for the soul.
The invisible invincible hope insists compellingly on believing in the good. Good will happen. And such a hope — no matter how fanciful it seems to hope for something good — will not disappoint us, for we will live more joyfully in the meantime, which is nothing about being fake or being won to denial.
We pray to God that he would infuse us with this hope; that our negative hopes would be jettisoned.
There is nothing to lose in hoping positively. Always. There is plenty to gain in believing upon a good future. Always.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.