Saturday, May 09, 2009

Romans 8:28, painfully real

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.


Anonymous said...

Grace and peace to you, as always. - Kate Blakely

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago I did prayer time at church, mom handed me a prayer request that morning that read, my niece had a friend who had passed away that morning. This young woman was the wife of a minister, a mother of three, one who was a week old, one whose 2nd birthday was that day, this 28 year old who fed her baby, put her down had a siezure caused by a blood clot and died. As I prayed that morning in front of the congregation, I found myself being mad, crying out God why would you let this happen,especially on this little girls birthday. During my pray I felt God saying, Mike trust me I have a plan, I see the big picture.
Your right, these words are'nt much comfort, but that is were I have to leave it . Trust Him. God bless you my friend and your friends who lost their child.
Mike in In

Faith said...

This hit home. I have lost two before they were born. One was before my ex and I got married, and the other was about six months before we moved to AL.

Mollie said...

This is so sad; as a new mom I can't begin to imagine the hole left in Amy's heart and the emptiness in her arms. Our son caught pneumonia the day after he was born and had to spend his first two weeks in sparrow's nicu. It was scary for us, but all the babies Elijah was surrounded with helped us to physically see that things could have been so much worse. There was a baby so premature that he wasn't even 2 lbs at birth and some whose eyes were still fused shut. I pray that Gene and Amy's hearts heal enough that, eventually, they'll try for another child. Not to replace their little son-no baby could. But maybe to show themselves that time, though slow, does help hurts not be so piercingly painful. 16 years after my older brother's death, it is not as painful to think about or to talk about. There some days I still miss him very much-especially now that I have a son-and wonder what he would have thought of my husband and his nephew. I hope Amy and Gene and their 6 year old can cling to each other and God as they try to live after this tragedy.