Friday, March 7, 2014

Day Three of Lent, Friday, March 7, 2014

At the end of February, Oklahoma City dealt with tragedy as two families lost four year old boys in accidental deaths.

Bralyn Shively was happy to have his uncle visiting from Iowa.  While whittling on a hammock, Bralyn was leaning over him.  When the hammock broke, the boy fell on top of him as he was still holding the knife.  He later died in the hospital from the knife wound.
Cherub sitting on the headstone of a
child's grave at Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington D.C.

A few days later, Quaid Dolan was run over by his father as he was being dropped off for school.  His dad was pulling away from the drop-off line.

Both situations were terrible accidents in that not only would a family grieve the loss of a son but they would also grieve the loss of all the future years with those children.  This is then compounded with the self-recrimination of the father and the uncle.

How many times would you replay the incident in your mind?

When Israel experienced civil war between King David and his son Absalom, you knew it would not end well no matter who won.  After Absalom's death at the hands of David's soldiers, we see that even though his son became his enemy, David was not pleased by this outcome.  He mourned and cried out in a loud voice, "O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

How does God comfort us when we experience such deep loss - not only at the death of a child but when we feel that we are to blame?

What if you were married to the person who caused the accidental death of your child? What if it were your brother or brother-in-law?  What would this do to your family?

We can imagine the resentment building up like a cancer - quite natural for us as human beings.  We can see the handwriting on the wall for these relationships.  Is any healing possible here?

It would be a miracle.

As we see with the vantage of an outsider, it is easy to diagnose the need for forgiveness. When we are living on the inside of the pain, we may know it is needed but we often have more difficulty even seeking after it.  Bitterness is the easier emotion to grasp in the immediate.

If you are dealing with a painful situation emotionally, try to step outside yourself in prayer for a moment.  Ask God to help you see it objectively from an outsider's viewpoint.

You may be ready for a miracle in your life.

Photo By Tim Evanson [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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