Skip to main content

When Two Worlds Clash


*Before you get excited to read today, I must tell you that contrary to our blog's tagline, today's entry will not be funny. It will most assuredly be real. And it will be disgustingly true about the messiness of faith.


For the last five months, thousands of people have had ragged and bruised knees from praying, anger that has boiled in their heart, and tears have stained their faces and shirts.

For the last five months, thousands have seen a family endure the worst imaginable pain.

For the last five months, thousands have watched a precious 3 year old battle the unspeakable terror called cancer--a demon that deserves a much worse name.

And after five months, a little girl went Home yesterday.

I'm in the ministry and I should be able to tell people that "God has a plan" or that "all things work for the good of God", but today I just can't. You may call me a hypocrite or blasphemous, but my heart and mind just can't go there. At least not today. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week. For today there is a war inside me as the clash of my great love and hope in Christ collides with the deep pain of knowing this baby girl is gone. I wrestle. I bawl my eyes out. I get so angry that the tears come more.

It just isn't fair.

We're smack in the middle of Holy Week and I'm called to boast in sufferings, be thankful for weaknesses, and rejoice in the Resurrection, but all I can think about is this little girl. I mean really God? Why her? Why this family? Do you not remember they have already lost one child?  I know that this little girl has new life and is rejoicing in heaven, but the deep pit that is left here is hard to swallow. The cruelty it seems they have been handed is sometimes too hard to accept. I want to turn to God and I want to dive into scripture, but I just don't feel like it. I don't feel like it because cancer won and a girl lost.

My husband put it well though in a prayer yesterday that the battle has not been lost as Christ won over everything on the Cross. Jesus was able to fight and win over things such as cancer. Because of His triumph, He prepared a place for Stella. He prepared a small bed for her ( a pink one I'm hoping, perhaps with a huge canopy or slide off of it) to welcome her home. He prepared a place where she no longer had to suffer or fight and endure the pain of cancer. I cling to that. I cling knowing she is running, smiling, and that she has long hair flowing in the wind. I cling knowing that she is laughing as she has her stuff bunny nestled in her chest, walking hand in hand with her sister Charlotte, and alongside Jesus.

But the pain still lingers. And it probably will for awhile. This is what faith really is. It is extreme highs and extreme lows. It is messy and complicated. It is something we don't always understand.

While I don't understand His ways. I have to trust in His heart. I have to trust in His love even when I don't want to. And even though I don't much want to open my Bible or turn my face towards His, I know I must. I know the only true comfort can come from Him. I know that He is okay that I'm so mad at Him right now. I know He is fine with me taking my time. I know He can't wait for me to spend time with Him again. I know He can't wait to show me the celebration that Heaven is.

So on Easter Sunday, I will still feel saddened, but as I rejoice in the life of my Savior, I pray I can rejoice in the life Stella Rose has now.

And after 5 months, thousands lost a special little gril, but one little girl gained it all.


Please be in prayer for the Mulhearn family in the coming days and weeks.

*You can read Stella's story here: Stella Rose









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On Uniting Methodists: A "Fixed and Free" Romans 14 Church

This past week, the local church I serve, Lovers Lane UMC, hosted a gathering of area clergy and lay leaders interested in learning more about a movement called "Uniting Methodists." Leading the presentation and ensuing discussion were Rev. Rachel Baughman of Oak Lawn UMC in Dallas, and Rev. Dr. Stan Copeland of Lovers Lane.

I respect both of these leaders immensely; Rachel was actually my children's pastor when I was in the 6th grade at W.C. Martin UMC in Bedford, TX, and Stan has been my boss and mentor for the better part of the last decade. That respect was shared by the room as far as I could tell, and it was their presence together on stage that likely sparked more than a little curiosity amongst those who came. 

The sight of them sitting together on stage perhaps sums up Uniting Methodists in one image. On the left (literally and figuratively), a young, progressive, woman with clerical collar, black plastic glasses, and dreads pulled neatly into a bun. On the righ…

A Little Ice, A Lot of Water, A Whole Heap of Cynicism

Scott here.  I've seen a lot of concern over the wasting of water in the now infamous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  If you don't know what that is, welcome to the internet, you must be new here.  Google it and come back, we'll wait.

Anyways, I've seen figures suggesting that around 1.2 million Americans have participated in the Challenge, using approx. 5 gallons of water each, meaning somewhere in the ballpark of 6 million gallons of water have been used so far (as of two days ago, so that number has grown).  Sounds like a staggering number, and it is a significant amount of water, to be sure.   And if you donated to ALSA, but chose to forgo the ice bucket to conserve water, I think that is admirable, and I applaud your decision to use the Challenge as a way to shed light on water scarcity at the same time.

But before we begin criticizing an effective fundraising practice by lamenting the waste of water, I wonder if we are willing to examine our own daily practices and c…

Why I Loved Daniel and Hated Job

I used to hate the book of Job.

There, I said it.  I know some of you might be in shock that I--a seminarian, a pastor, a future ordained elder--would actually hate a book of the Bible.  But it's true, for the longest time I just could not stand the story of a man whose life get's worse and worse and worse, simply because God wanted to prove something to Satan... or something like that.*

Which is funny because my wife absolutely loves the book of Job.  It's her favorite in the entire Old Testament, and I could not understand why for the longest time.  It's just so dadgum depressing.  A man's life starts out so wonderful, so full of blessing and grace, and slowly falls apart until nothing is left but his faith.  And I know, I know, at the end he gets back double what he had before, but that's a few verses at the end of chapters and chapters of misery.

Not like Daniel.  The story of Daniel is a book that starts out with destruction and judgement and nothing but …