Why, O Lord?
Many of you have been praying for Patrick Braxton-Andrew. Patrick is from Davidson, a Davidson College graduate, and a teacher at Woodlawn. He is known and loved by many in the community. While I did not know Patrick, I know his mom, Jean, and have heard wonderful stories about him from her and from many of his friends and colleagues.
Patrick disappeared a couple of weeks ago while traveling in Mexico. Many have feared the worst but have held on to a sliver of hope that he might be found alive. Those hopes were dashed when on Thursday the news broke that Patrick had died – most likely due to foul play. There is much news that has not been released and indeed might not yet be known. That is not the purpose of this letter. I am writing about grief and about how we, as people of faith, cry out to God.
This is certainly one occasion when we might join the Psalmist and cry out, “Why, O Lord?” (Psalm 10:1) Our grief is natural. It can lead us to anger and frustration. It can even lead us to doubt as we wrestle with our faith in the God of all creation that allows such atrocities to occur. The psalmist feels like God is far away but in the midst of praying discovers that God is near, that God cares, and that God, in fact, hears and acts on behalf of those who are hurting. But it doesn’t always feel that way.
Today is a day to cry out to God. It is a time to stick together and comfort one another in this difficult journey. It is a time to remember that we are not alone and that even when we may feel like God is far away, God has not left us. As we speak with and pray with our children, we have the opportunity to demonstrate that love that brought us into existence. We are called to love each other, to hold each other, and to proclaim that the evil that has brought about such pain in the world and in our lives will not have the last word.
So may we cry out to God and may we stick close to each other. May we be open to God’s presence and the presence of one another. May we hold Patrick’s family and friends in our prayers. May we offer tears and hugs and hold a candle of hope as we stand alongside them during this dark and difficult time. Let me know if you would like to talk. We are here for each other.
To God be the Glory!