The CallAugust 14th, 2013
When my children want to talk on the phone instead of sending a text message, I know something big is happening—and my first instinct is that bad news is coming. Earlier this summer, my younger daughter called to tell me she was engaged. I was so thrilled that she was delivering joyful news, especially as she had just gone through the experience of watching someone she loved die after a courageous battle with brain cancer. It was so wonderful to hear the joy in her voice.
A conversation with my eldest son a few weeks later was not joyous. It was the kind of news I would like to never have heard, life-altering news of the heartbreaking variety. I remember the first part only in fragments: firecracker, explosion, fingers. I could barely comprehend what I was hearing. My son lost portions of two fingers and had tendon damage to his thumb. Everyone asks if it was his dominant hand, and while it wasn’t, as a chef both hands are important.
Everything about this story has been difficult: imagining the pain he suffered (which I really can’t), the damage to his hand (and, yes, it could have been worse but is still hardly negligible), the rehabilitation that will not be easy, adjusting to a new reality, and staggering medical bills. But, in the midst of the grief and loss there was light. Brad’s attitude was one of determination and optimism that he would heal quickly and regain the use of the hand, albeit differently than before. He was truly touched by the outpouring of sympathy and support that he received in the days after people began to hear about it.
The process is going to be a long one, and I am sure that frustration and regret and discouragement will occur. But if we look for resurrection in times of death and deprivation, then I think that Brad is already on the road to new life. He told me that despite what had happened he has never felt so grateful in his life. So many people had reached out, including former a favorite teach, showing him how loved he truly is. This, to me, is why I stand with Christ. Jesus offers us a message that death is not the end, that evil does not win. Pain and suffering are not good things and God does not wish them on us. Instead God stands with us in our darkest hour and brings us to light and new life. This is the best news of all.