Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Short Version

No doubt that since losing Evie we've had some struggles with our faith. We ask ourselves the oft asked question, "how could a good god allow this to happen?" Over time I hope that as I share some of my own theological reflection, it can be a help to others. In any case let me say this, I still believe. I believe, but since the tragedy God has certainly felt distant. What used to be for me a deep sense of his presence is now a feeling of emptiness and loneliness... but it is not unique to me, consider the many characters of scripture who felt the same thing (Psalm 30, Job, Mark 15.34). But because I do not necessarily feel God near me does not mean that I don't believe. The very reason that I've ever believed is that the story of Christ's life, death, and resurrection made me believe that I was loved by God. Thats about as simple as it gets. I could get more elaborate, in reality this explanation is sufficient to me. Jesus proves God's love. I try and live in accordance.

There were plenty of answered and unanswerable questions in my life before Evie died. Now there are more. I live on borrowed faith; the faith of friends, mentors, prophets, apostles, and saints. It never really was just my own faith, but I hope and anticipate that I will "own" more of it again. In the meantime I still try and love God and neighbor, even though both can piss me off. They've shown enough kindness and patience that I can at least return the favor until I get my head back on straight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt and Nicole,

I started reading your dear Evie's blog through a link on Cliff's ( blog shortly after she was born.

I know it doesn't ease your pain to hear how other people have also lost babies, but what helped me when I lost Isaac who was stillborn at 7 months, was to realize that he was in God's care, which is what we had engraved on his little headstone. I believe that God cares for these little ones who to Him belong anyway.

Other subjective things I believe - Isaac did not want to leave us. I believe he struggled to stay alive and was sad to leave his parent's warm embrace. But that he is being comforted in Abraham's Bosom right now.

I believe also that since he's not in this sin-infested world that it will be to his benefit to grow up in purity and light. It will make him "stronger" somehow.

I believe he prays for us. I first felt this when he would have been 4 years old and I was introduced to the Orthodox Faith. I was then given an icon of a guardian angel holding hands with a 4 year old looking boy who had similar features to Isaac and my husband. I felt it was a window to where he is.

And lastly, I believe we will have a joyful reunion in heaven and will know each other.

You will never forget Evie, and she will never stop loving you. Before I found the Orthodox faith, I thought the end of grieving was letting go and not experiencing loss anymore. I now believe that we maintain relationships with the departed through loving memory at least, though we miss having them to experience with our physical senses.

I hope my beliefs haven't offended you. My heart has been going out to you and I so appreciate your sharing yours and Evie's life with us. My feelings about Isaac have echoed so much with your beautifully expressed ones, and somehow the resonance is comforting to me. The emptiness you feel will make your reunion with her more anticipated. If I may also say, holding my next baby helps quite a bit too.

May God's unfailing love comfort you,