You may have met her. That woman. The one who has an incurable health problem and has only months to live. The one whose husband has run off and shamed her. The one with the wayward teen. The one whose child died.
You may have met her, that woman who is living your worst nightmare. I remember seeing her around several times. But, back then, I did not understand her. At all.
For one thing, she is smiling. A lot more than I would if I were her. And she never complains. She hardly ever brings it up, this nightmare of hers. She keeps up with all her usual duties and on top of that, she often does more than her share. She should be a wreck but instead she goes out of her way to comfort others. She says things like, “God is good,” and seems so nauseatingly thankful all the time.
What is wrong with her?
She must still be “in shock.” Or “denial.” Maybe she is “taking a little something” to help get her through this. Maybe what she has been through isn’t so bad, after all. Maybe she doesn’t have enough sense to understand what has happened to her. Maybe she’s just strong. Maybe she drinks.
Or, maybe it’s something else. I hear she’s religious. Maybe there’s something to that Bible-thumping stuff. Maybe that Jesus-talk isn’t just a crutch for non-thinkers or an anesthetic for weaklings. Maybe she’s got something real there to hold on to. Maybe I need to check this out.
So, what’s up with this woman?
No, skeptical one, it’s not shock. Not denial. What this woman has been through is bad, real bad, and she feels it in every bone of her body.
But she will not give up. She will not hand the final word to the enemy of her soul so he can snicker while another Jesus freak bites the dust.
What you are seeing in this woman is the end result of time spent with God. You are seeing Christ in her. She is operating under the power of the Holy Ghost. Her ship is powered by Someone Else’s fuel. I am quite sure this woman takes her sorrow to her Lord on a regular basis and then wipes her nose and gets back to the business of blessing others. She refuses to waste the pain. She is bearing fruit.
And I want to be like her.
Those of us who have lost a child know that those who have not suffered a similar loss cannot understand what we are going through. So, while I constantly feel a need to spill my guts and try to make people understand the magnitude of my pain, I don’t do it because there is nothing they can do for me and they and I both know it. Death is a problem of Biblical proportions. Only the Creator of the universe can handle this one.
So, when people ask me how I am doing, I say I am fine because to tell it like it is would be, for the hearer, like I am speaking a foreign language. At times like this, I often say God is good and I say it for several reasons: First, it’s true. Second, I want people to know it’s true. Third, knowing He is good makes it possible for me smile and to go around saying I am fine. I am not lying. I am in pain, a drop to your knees and scream kind of pain. But I am fine because I know God is good and I know I will see my sweet boy again.
That woman. Maybe I am beginning to understand her.