Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What Do You Say?

Her name was Leticia, and we hadn’t met her before last night.  Most of Mexico shook yesterday as an earthquake 7.6 on the Richter scale rattled most of Mexico, but her life was already shattered, her heart numb.  Sometime Monday evening, or perhaps early yesterday morning, she lost her unborn baby, Oel Sebastian.  His tiny remains lay in a tiny white box, wrapped in a ribbon. 

Mariana, a young mother herself with a little girl with heart issues, told us about Leticia just as our Tuesday night Bible study was beginning.  Mayra suggested that some of us visit the mourning mother, and Mariana left immediately to see if our visit would be welcome.  We called Mariana a few minutes later and received instructions to Leticia’s house.

What do you say in these circumstances?  Even if I were eloquent in any language (I’m not), or nuanced and articulate in Spanish (still a long way to go), what do you say to a woman who has just lost a son?  A son with a name, born life-less.  How to you console a woman who has just lost her most precious gift?     

As Leticia and two family members listened, we remembered together another father who lost his son, King David.  Although his son would not return to him, David knew that one day he would go to be with his son.  We touched briefly on Job’s testimony in Job 19:25-27. 

I know that my redeemer lives,
   and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
   yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
   with my own eyes—I, and not another.
   How my heart yearns within me!

Jeremiah was chosen by God to be a prophet while in his mother’s womb. (Jeremiah 1).  The Psalmist in Psalm 139:13-16 is beautiful:

For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.

I finished reading.  You saw my unformed body, all the days ordained for me where written in your book before one of the came to be.  In the case of Leticia’s baby boy Oel Sebastian, he did not live even one day outside the womb.  A life, known by God and special to Him, cut short.

As Eugene Peterson says in his book Subversive Spirituality, the pastor in such sacred occasions is merely present to say the name of God. To say His Name clearly and simply, but to proclaim it without hesitancy.

Sometimes that’s about all you can do.  It’s hard, often awkward, to sit beside someone in such emotion pain, and to pronounce God’s name.  But it is a privilege.  It is a responsibility.

1 comment:

TINA! said...