helplessness

helplessness March 30, 2009

I’m sure you heard of the tragic Montana plane crash that happened last week.  There were 3 couples & their young kids on board.  Two of them were sisters & it was their father’s plane.  On that day, he lost two daughters, two son-in-laws & five grandchildren.  The other couple had two adorable children & the woman was five months pregnant.

Some news stories just stick with me, I think about them for ages.  And this one felt particularly tragic to me.  I can’t get it off my mind.  As bad I feel for that father who lost a shocking 9 members of his family in one day, I feel the worst for those 3 fathers on the plane.

I got started thinking about how helpless I would feel if Dave, Ransom, our unborn child & I were on a plane with our friends York & Jodi & their two kids & Jim & Jamie & their 3 young girls.  And if we all knew that plane was in trouble, there would be an enormous sense of grief and helplessness because we could not do anything for our children.  I imagine that York & Dave & Jim would be insane trying to figure out how to lose their lives so that their wives & their kids could make it.  I imagined how all of us would be begging God not to let us all die, not to have all of our family die on the same day.  It was probably awful.  The plane nose dived & they all died.  Every soul.

Anyway, tragedy is everywhere & it’s all saturated with helplessness.  I feel terribly helpless as this weekend I picked up the latest issue of Discipleship Journal on justice and suffering.  Not only are those in Darfur enduring such profound tragedy but I feel I have plane-is-going-down mentality towards it.  What can I do?  I feel profoundly helpless.

As of next month, -because of the economy and other factors- Dave & I will lose a whopping 50% of our salary.  And, as you can surmise I feel helpless about the whole thing.  We spoke with a friend about it who, along with her spouse both lost their jobs and are putting groceries on credit with a threat of foreclosure.  They are helpless.

But here’s the thing.  God is a God of the helpless.  He is.  Sometimes when I need to be assured of this truth I reread slave narratives.  Yesterday, I read of a 15 yr. old slave who -upon the slightest infringement- was beaten with rods her slavemaster would heat up on the fire.  He raped her every day without fail.  She was helpless.  But she knew God, the same God I know and she reports how He was with her and was a comfort in a time of helplessness.  This is all I’ve ever known ~ God who has carried me through sexual abuse, rape, miscarriages, betrayal, loss & personal failures.  Why in the world should I worry about being ‘poor.’  (And that is poor by American standards, not the worlds standards).

So, I wanted to update you, the paycut is moving forward, I am helpless, but we are squarley in God’s hands, trusting in Him and honestly we both have a lot of peace… that eery eery peace only God can give when it’s beyond reasonable.


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