Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Whole Truth

Upon further investigation, I don’t think I gave you the whole story. You see, a few months ago, everything changed and all the sudden all of my theories and all of my rationalizing couldn’t explain it away. A few months ago my Aunt & Uncle, who have courageously tried to get pregnant for sometime now miscarried their twins, Billie & Miles, at almost 6 months into her pregnancy. And just a few weeks later I watched dear friends of mine say goodbye to their little boy, Tyler James Rumley.

What was remarkable to see in Jerrod & Jen Rumley was their response. Faith and honesty in the midst of what can only be inadequately described as an utter tragedy. I tried for a few months to write something about it, something about them, but I couldn’t. I just felt like there was nothing significant to say after that. Words didn’t express enough. They couldn’t express the ache in my heart for all of them. They couldn’t express how completely pissed I was that this was happening. And they couldn’t express how helpless it is to sit by and watch such an injustice occur. And I watched them get up and give glory to God and I realized; I had no idea what faith really was.

So I got pissed. And more pissed. And months went by and I was still really pissed. Why would this happen? What possible benefit could there be to this? How would a good God ever allow this to happen? So pretty much for months, this has been internally circling around. And even a month on another continent couldn’t change it.

This week I had a tiny breakthrough. In reading a, let’s be honest, sorta boring passage in Deuteronomy, about the law, I discovered something. God is a God who loves justice. He has blessings and curses laid out for the Israelites that are so clear and quite frankly fair. That’s when I realized, God loves justice, and we’re the ones who don’t. And we can’t. Follow me here for a sec. As soon as we sinned, so long ago, we forfeited our right for justice, for a fair world. It’s the same injustice that has caused me to question the character of God by which I am saved. If not for the injustice of God these tragedies would not be allowed, but if it were not for His injustice, none of us would be saved. So we’re forced to live by faith. Trusting what we do not see played out in reality and what we aren’t able to rationalize into something positive, productive, better, or fair. We are forced to trust Him.

Honestly, I’m still pissed for them. I still don’t get it. It will still never be ok or make sense, but it isn’t ok to Him either. If I wish to remain upset I can only be upset with the sinful nature I was born into and the unfair, cruel world I must exist in, for what I’m sure I will learn someday, isn’t that long at all.

That’s the Truth. The Whole Truth. For now.


  1. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with whcih we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abandunce, so also our comfort is abaundant through Christ..." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

    In my 53 years, I've experienced great pain, disappointment, including the death of friends & family. I have experienced a variety of emotions, and have questioned God's purpose. I don't ever seem to get the answer immediately, but I have found God's comfort in the midst of the pain, as the scripture says. Later, I've found myself equipped through my experience of pain to comfort others in a more empathetic way, than had I not experienced the pain. I'm still not volunteering for painful experiences (no need - they will come!), but I recall words from folks who mentored me in earlier times that hurting makes you grow, opens up experience with God, and prepares me for service & ministry with & to others...

    I agree with you: "We are forced to trust Him."

  2. I concur. I've often wondered why God does allow such tragedies to exist. We know He's all-knowing, all-loving, etc. but what's His purpose? I've come to the conclusion I may never know. His purpose in the tragedy may not be directly for me. But...

    Something I thought about around the time of Tyler's death:

    I think God's "30,000-foot" purpose in all things is to bring all of us closer to Him. If that's His purpose, He doesn't lose anything by taking Tyler home with Him. All He has to gain is for us, even only one of us, to take one step closer to Him. I've seen what I believe to be His hand in the life of my boss, Ruth. She knows the Rumleys from her first exposure to The Well, but was distant for quite a while. She came to the memorial service with Mary and I and has since felt a tugging on her heart to know God's people. In her words, she hasn't "hit rock bottom" or anything like that, but is opening her heart to what God might do in her. She talks to him on a daily basis. She's been coming back to The Well and has even begun singing along! It's been truly amazing seeing her develop the way she has. I am certain God will continue to work in her.

    Tyler's gone, but he's not lost. We know right where he is. We know he's in better hands than our own. My greatest mourning comes from losing on opportunities to watch him grow up and be used by God to touch many, many lives. Perhaps, though, he's already touched those lives...

    God bless you, Cam. Keep writing!

  3. cam, thanks so much for this. as i struggle in dealing with the grief of losing my mom (still, 3 years later), this brings me comfort and closer to my god. that's all i can really share for now.