Be Ye Angry and Sin Not
Ask any grief specialist and they'll tell you that feelings of anger we have to work through during the grieving process are most certainly valid & justified. In fact, I would dare say as a "born again" Believer that feelings of anger are perfectly right. Frankly, anybody who says otherwise, is deluding themselves, ignorant of God's character and how He expresses Himself through the Scriptures, or just plain lying. I'll actually go as far to say that it's good to be angry--livid even--Such feelings are perfectly RIGHT--we're supposed to be angry at sin & death! The Scriptures say, "Be ye angry and sin not." It does NOT say that we should not be angry, but rather it says we need to be careful with how we resolve our valid anger. I would even venture to say that in the midst of being righteously angry at death, it's often a big challenge not to be angry with God for allowing the longsuffering of death to continue--especially when innocent little babies are swept up into the heartbreaking consequences of Adam's Curse. I think we have to somehow get to that place where we can "forgive" God -- and no, I don't think it's irreverent or blasphemous to contemplate such a notion (though I don't know as if God really needs forgiving for disciplining His children and setting the rules of life & death in motion). For me, it's been in the struggles of "forgiving" God (i.e. submitting myself to all that He leaves unanswered) that I've been able to re-embrace how much He forgives me. Through that I've been able to channel that righteous anger at death rather than at God. And yes, I do believe that such anger is righteous anger--death is completely & totally wrong and we're supposed to be angry with it. It's the coping with it on a human level that's so challenging--especially when so MANY "well-meaning" crooners have no earthly idea of the emotional turmoil that accompanies a baby death (let alone TWO). So such naysayers actually incinuate that God is "happy" that my babies died??? Truth is, God is just as heartbroken as I am--He weeps over death & suffering even more than I do. So how dare the "well-meaning" actually infer that I'm somehow supposed to be "happy" that my children are dead.
And then they respond with things like, But they're not dead; they're with God and it's a good & wonderful thing. Great! Then lets send your kids there to be with Him too. Let's see how YOU handle the lonely heartbreak--would you cry tears like I do, or would you jump up & down with joy like you EXPECT ME TO??? How dare you imply that my faith is lacking because I'm angry at death and they who caused it unnecessarily. How dare you wag your finger at me because I weep at my childrens' graves for missing them. No one believes more in the Good News of Resurrection more than ME! No one "rejoices" in the reality of heaven more than ME! But in this human state that I'm born into here on earth, my heart is shattered and tattered. And I think I'm doing a pretty damned good job of holding it all together in light of all that's happened!
So to they who shake their heads and wring their hands over how I've handled my grief--how would YOU handle YOUR anger if doctors had been instrumental in the untimely demise of your girls? Are not humans responsible for their actions? Are we not commanded not to kill? Are the doctors not culpable for the sin of death that they inflicted upon the lives of my daughters??? I mean, how would YOU handle YOUR anger if they who would be Godly, church-going people made YOU feel like a miserable failure; made you feel pathetic for being dropped to your knees? We've had "well-meaning" people pull in off the busy street that runs past the cemetery. They've parked their cars and approached us with tracts in hand making it perfectly clear that they saw us as pitiful & pathetic as we tended to the flowers we have planted at our children's gravesites. These people feel perfectly justified in the invading of our privacy because they see their tactlessness as a noble attempt at "witnessing" to the "apparent lost." One such tract explained that the soul is NOT eternal--that the soul dies when the body dies--the soul does NOT go to heaven to be in the safe arms of Jesus--its dead in the casket along with the corpse. The tract quoted a couple of vague & out of context Bible verses trying to "prove" the point that when we're dead, we're dead--just like the athiests believe. The tract went on to say that the "good news" is that maybe, just maybe, a few chosen souls would be resurrected upon Jesus' return--that none of us knew which ones were chosen, but that we could "HOPE" we were one of the few that are. I was dumbfounded as to why anyone would waste their time on such a futile and hopeless religion. That's not Good News! That's not what people like Paul, Peter, James and John spent their lives teaching. And it's certainly not what Jesus taught.
Frankly, the notion that our souls died along with our bodies made me frantic and exasperated. I spent the next couple of weeks combing through my Bible coming up with DOZENS of passages that refute their proposition--dozens upons dozens of passages that prove that any can be saved who ask to be, and that we can be completely assured of salvation and the eternal soul. Sure, it's true that the souls of my girls and their bodies are separated for a time. But when Jesus returns He will arrive bringing with Him all the souls He held in safety, and "the dead in Christ shall rise first"--their souls and their perfected bodies will be reunited for the next wonderful chapter in His Story. Oh the "christians" who forget the words of Jesus Himself as He speaks in John's gospel, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth--they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." And it's been to my deepest comfort that the Lord has led me to passages nearly every day that reaffirm the eternal soul and the guaranteed seal of the Holy Spirit. In my distress, He assures me that the "Good News" is that "though we may die, we always live in Him...that those who have died in Christ are among the living saints who live to intercede on my behalf."
So yeah; anger--it's not just for sinners. It's also for the righteous who are incensed by the impact of sin & death upon our world. It's for the righteous who are devastated by the likes of a sinful & wicked humanity--for the injustice that this world often exudes! Were not the priests & Levites accountable for their abandonment as they crossed the road to avoid the beaten & battered man left in the gutter to die alone??? Which one of YOU has been s a good Samaritan as you've clucked your tongues and wagged your fingers in judgement of my angry & sorrowful expressions of grief??? Which one of YOU has patiently tended to my wounds and brokenness??? How many of YOU have felt justified as you tossed the first stone in your assertion that I'm faithless--and unsaved???
Excuse the crap out of me, but I'm screaming mad that a bunch of high-priced, over-paid jackasses didn't do anything to save my baby girl--a daughter that I had waited over 17years to have. Doctors give us all this bullshit about how important pre-natal care is, and how vital monitoring is to the health & well-being of the child---yea? well where were they the day Abigail's NST showed clear and frightening signs that she was in critical distress??? They left me sitting in the waiting room for nearly four hours trying to find a stupid doctor to answer their pager. The baby failed her NST, what should we do??? And when the retard doctor finally answered the page, it was a guy who had NEVER met me, NEVERE seen my file, and didn't really care. It was late in the day--it was quitting time--so he had the nurse--who also had never met me; who also had never seen my file; and who also didn't give a crap--send me home instead of trying to save my baby's life. And then when I came back for the follow-up--when they discovered that my little girl had suffocated to death--they tried to blame me. Yea, well screw YOU--where were YOU, Dr. Asshole??? How much did you bill me for all those fucking ultrasounds and NST monitoring sessions??? I think it's total bullshit that YOU get to move on with your tropical vacations and your gated-community lifestyle--leaving me in the dumpster of YOUR crappy medical care; leaving my child in a deep hole under a patch of weed-riddled sod. You don't even remember me or my baby girl. And what's worse, you actually think you're free & clear--your state license and medical degree removes any culpabilty for your bad judgement an indifference. I think it's total crap that you were legally allowed to kill my child and ruin my life. You're no different than any other scumbag murderer--except for the fact that you're much more arrogant.
Yes, I'm outrageously angry about that--I'll always be outrageously angry about that! Will I ever see justice on this side of heaven? Probably not. But like King David, in my righteous anger , I turn vengeance over to the Lord. I implore Him to take up Abigail's cause--meting out perfect justice on they who murdered her. I do the same for they who cast aside my little Anne like she was a weed in the garden not worthy of watering. They who robbed her of basic medication; a basic shot at life--they are no different than the drunk who deludes himself into thinking he can drive--how dare they determine that my living child wasn't worthy of helping. They think they did what they could; they think they did what was "right"--but my child was worthy of so much more than their pathetic indifference. And thus once again, I give vengeance over to the Lord of my salvation. He knows the hearts & motives of man--and judges accordingly with His perfect justice. And like the passage in Hebrews says, "It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God."
I don't have energy to remain angry at all they who have abandoned me through the journey. I know that God will hold them in account as well. I know that like the priests & Levites, they have crossed the road of my affliction so as to keep up with the shallow comforts and carelessness of the American dream. I know that they have failed to hear God's commission--missing some vital opportunities to be faithful servants & ministers to the wounded & broken hearted. I know exactly what Jesus meant when He said, "In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." See, my affliction of desperate grief has been in many ways a calling to the Body to visit the captured prisoner; to clothe the raw nakedness of my shattered life; to soothe the desert of my thirst as my cup overflows with the saline of my tears. When I contemplate it deeply, I can heartily proclaim that my sorrows are deeper for them than for myself. To be certain, I may have failed my daughters to their detriment here on earth, but my acquaintences within the Body of Christ have failed the very "least of these" --and that's such a greater failing in the long run.
Ultimately, the only prayer I pray now is for God's mercy to abound in my life, and for my ability to extend His mercy to they who are so UN-deserving. I'll admit that I spend far too much time confessing my failures in my attempts at forgiveness. Verily I can proclaim that He Who began a good work in me is faithful to carry it out all the way to its completion. And to be certain, this excruciatingly painful journey has served to prove & reinforce that His grace truly is sufficient...