I could only say, "it hurts"
But I suppose that's only partially true. I've been hurt before: receiving harsh words, physical bodily damage, destructive self talk, and the like. These things hurt.
Yet, this feels different.
This feels like a collision between deep love and deep anger.
Like many people who've contacted me, emailed, posted on facebook and posted on our blog about what Jaime meant to them...Like many of you...God used Jaime, for many years, to shape my life as a follower of Jesus, husband and pastor. I love him for that.
But, I'm also deeply angry at him and at the broken world we live in. There are a lot of things I'd like to write...but I'll refrain.
God must understand. Right? Through the prophet Hosea he says, "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me" (Hos. 11:1-2).
Maybe the word is....
Eugene Peterson writes:
Suffering is a huge, unavoidable element in the human condition. To be human is to suffer. No one gets an exemption...
and in his introduction to the book of Lamentations, he writes:
Neither explaining suffering nor offering a program for the elimination of suffering, Lamentations keeps company with the extensive Biblical witness that gives dignity to suffering by insisting that God enters our suffering and is companion to our suffering.
So I turn to the Lament recorded in the book of Lamentations
3:19-21I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
22-24God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.
25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.
31-33Why? Because the Master won't ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way:
Allowing God to hold suffering and hope inside me.
Peterson writes, “Lament isn’t an animal wail, an inarticulate howl...Lament notices and attends…details, images, relationships. Pain entered into, accepted, and owned can become poetry.”
Asking God to write Psalms inside me.