I want to share a bit on a topic that has been on my mind since I read a post that my friend Jill Hollis wrote about her gut-wrenching battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. Here is an excerpt from her post:
Reminds me of this line from The Impossible Dream, that beautiful anthem from Man of La Mancha:
The words take me back to that Intensive Care Unit where I, along with my two young children, watched my first wife breathe her last breaths. Sometimes our sorrow is so unbearable. Often life presents us with seemingly impossible circumstances. And sometimes it feels like God is not there.
But on that occasion. As Ellen was slipping off to a new life. A nurse walked in and asked if she could sing Amazing Grace. Ellen's favorite song. With tears rolling down our faces we witnessed the passing of our beloved wife and mom. The song made our sorrow a bit more bearable.
I don't really have any answers to the question of intense sorrow other than to say that life is often riddled with pain and suffering. But I think that in the midst of our pain God sometimes reveals Himself in unusual ways. I think of this verse from the book of Hebrews that speaks of angels:
"Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?"
The word Greek word translated "angel" is sometimes translated "messenger". Perhaps that nurse with the beautiful voice was one of those messengers? Perhaps one of the purposes of angels, be they heavenly or earthly, is to help us bear the unbearable? Perhaps the admonition to bear one another's burdens or sorrows is a primary reason for our existence? Perhaps sorrow is unbearable without angels?
Thank you Lord for the angels in our lives.
- originally posted in September 2009