Saturday, January 29, 2011

Funeral For a Friend

I just got back from a funeral this afternoon.  A friend's baby only lived for 7 hours after birth.

Funerals always make me introspective.  It takes me back and makes me consider many things.  Mostly I try to understand it.  The first time I ever really encountered death was when I was 14.  My 16 year old cousin commited suicide.  He was also deaf, and it made me wonder - will that happen to me as well?

I was a weird funk for a week or two.  I was also playing Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams, and that kind of gave me some weird ideas about death.

Now I'm 34, and have wrestled enough with life to give me a better perspective on death than I did when I was 13.

Some people ask, why would God take away the life of a little innocent?  Personally, in some ways I think of it as a blessing.  Who knows what future that child may have held, if she lived?  Perhaps God was sparing her from something worse.  I don't know.  What I do believe, is that when children die, they're immediately in paradise with Jesus.

Let's be honest.  This world is a house of tragedy.  For all the joys it presents, there's always a current of darkness that surrounds us.  In a world where we have genocide in South Africa, Hitler in Germany, George Bush in the US, and uncountable nitwits in Canada.  We can honestly say that this life is far from paradise.

So do we blame God?  Really?  How can we?  We ourselves who make poor choices that hurt ourselves and those around us, are not blameless either.  We couldn't dare accuse God of being heartless.

If we could actually step back and see the tapestry of life, every moment that has been or could be, and all the other paths that might have happened if other choices were made, other circumstances were changed...  I think we would be stunned and amazed at how much God has influenced for the better.

I'm certain we could all agree that if Chariman Mao were never born, Hitler, Stalin, James Harvey Oswald... God knows the list can get longer.  Would the world be a better place?

Perhaps.  But I'm inclined to believe that God allowed those things to happen, and influenced the situation of evil, so that good may result.  There could have been even worse men, more heinous than those that would've taken their places.  God knows, this world has no shortage of evil men.  I wouldn't even try to make sense of these tragedies - but I trust that God has.

So today as I left the funeral, my heart went out for the two sweet parents who lost their precious one.  I can't even begin to imagine the strength of faith and character it took for them to smile, and greet people.  To work on the play Titanic, while the future of his child was a mystery.  What would I have done if I were in his place?

I can't say.  I do believe he knows now, who his true friends are.... and he knows how strong his faith is.  And I hope that's a blessing to him and his wife.

On a personal note.  My wife and I haven't been able to have kids since we got married.  Sure there are times we wonder why.  But through it all, I've simply have faith that when it's time, it'll be time...  After all, Abraham waited a hell of a long time for his son.  And like I've said so many times before, Heaven is a place of second chances.  If it doesn't happen here, I'm certain that even better things are in store.

Travis Penner

No comments:

Post a Comment