My niece Rachel died on Saturday, July 7th unexpectedly of a Pulmonary Embolism. There really are no words to describe the pain and loss. So why, you ask am I writing this blog? Because of the why question that is so often asked when it comes, in such a heart-shattering loss.
There is no answer to the why. Other than a medical explanation, there is no justice, there is no benefit, and there is nothing positive I can say about the death of our beloved Rachel. But still, we ask, why did this have to happen, to someone so special and loved?
Pastors hear this question a lot, parents hear it, loved ones hear it or ask it. For me, I direct the “why” question to God. Right now the silence is deafening. I see all the posts on Facebook. I have been in conversation with my wife, brothers, children, cousins and my father. God hasn’t posted anything yet or texted me with an answer.
Maybe the way the question has gotten in the way of my seeing this lovely light of God’s love. Rachel, child of God, minister of the Gospel, leader of youth, children and families, faithful guide to relationships with Christ. She died so quickly, her light went out, it seems really dark right now.
But the light didn’t originate with her, the light is the Spirit of God within her, a light that will never be extinguished. I believe this to be true. Who Rachel was will live in our hearts and minds. Where Rachel is, was proclaimed in her baptism, when she lived is a part of our family’s story. But then why is beyond our ability to answer and comprehend.
I have to apologize to God and you all on this writing. I realize now that I have heard and seen God’s response to my question. It has come to me through all the voices and pictures of those who knew and loved Rachel. In the larger family of faith, Rachel was well known and loved as a sister, friend and fellow servant of Christ.
Why her death, I will never know. Why and how she lived is as clear as the beautiful smile on her face and the bright light of her love in Christ. Thank you, Lord, for Rachel. Amen.