Terry called me this morning. “Frank, I need you to come to the hospital. Gene and Amy are here. Their two-week-old son, Landon, passed away this morning.”
When Amy fed Landon at 3 AM she could tell something wasn’t right. Then he stopped breathing. They laid him on the floor and Greg began CPR while Amy called 911. Gene prayed and breathed for his little man, but by the time the paramedics arrived, Landon still had not come around. And he never did.
As I showered and dressed to go to the hospital I couldn’t help but think of the verse I am supposed to preach tomorrow morning: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Really? Was that what I was supposed to tell Gene and Amy? "Hey, guys, God is going to bring something good out of this." Was that going to be any comfort for their 6-year-old son, Anthony, who just wants to know where his baby brother went?
Was God working all things for the good when the detectives interviewed Gene and Amy separately to determine if their stories matched? Was God working all things for good when Gene and Amy arrived home from the hospital to find two police cars sitting outside to secure what might potentially be a crime scene? When Amy was asked to “re-enact” what took place with a baby doll – how did God work that for good?
Following their routine investigation, the police determined that there was no foul play, but that is small comfort for Gene and Amy because Landon is still dead. Though the police have their questions answered, their family is left with a singular unanswered question: “why?”
I have some answers to that question, but they are all theological. They minister to the head, but leave the heart wanting. And when that happens – at times like this – it takes great faith to believe this verse, to claim it as one’s own, to believe that God can see the whole movie and not just the frame or two that is our existence.
And that may be, at least in the near term, the only good that can come of something this painful.