Published Sunday, January 13, 2013
Column by JOHN A. WINTERS
Some columns are easy.
Living with the Little Black Dress and the SONs of Thunder, I am rarely without ammunition. Some times, it’s harder to decide which event to write about, whether than trying to come up with something.
Some columns are hard.
Part of that is because this section of the paper is actually printed Wednesday afternoon. I turn it in that morning. The problem is life doesn’t stop. What seemed appropriate earlier in the week no longer is. Life goes on. And life throws stuff at you.
It’s like going to the grocery store on Monday and planning out the week’s meals. Come Thursday, you realize you really aren’t in the mood for meatloaf.
I am tired and drained. I am tired of hearing the coroner getting called out to an accident. And if I am, I can’t imagine the emotional impact on the men and women — first-responders — who are in the middle of it.
They are masters of their craft. To be able to actually remove a body — living or dead — from being trapped within a twisted heap of metal is a testament to their skill and passion.
Over the last couple of weeks, a 30-year-old father was killed when he lost control of his vehicle just down the Interstate from us. His wife and seven kids were also hurt. Two had to be flown by air ambulance to Atlanta hospitals.
This past weekend, an 18-year-old lost control, hit a tree and died after being airflighted to Atlanta.
And then there is Abby, the nine-year-old who died in a two-car accident right before Christmas. Her father remains in an induced coma in Atlanta.
And the question always asked is “why God?”
There is not an easy answer. Entire books have tried to answer that very question. In the midst of ultimate tragedy, it is the question asked. And for many, it is never answered adequately.
And in times like this, the question I often ask is, “Does God cry?”
The most powerful scripture in the Bible is John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
On Christmas Day, little Abby had surgery. In the midst of this horrible event, her grieving mom, Natalie, made the most unselfish decision any parent can make. Abby’s organs were donated so others could live.
Abby’s aunt, Susan, summed it up perfectly. “God gave us his Son on Christmas to save us. Now Abby has the same chance to help others.”
I’ve been to, and led, a lot of Bible studies and retreats, and often times, to break the ice, we go around and everyone cites their favorite scripture.
I always select Exodus 23:19 - “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
I do that because, well The Dress says I can be ornery at times. And I do love the looks I get and how other guys will sort of push their chairs away from me. Talk about an ice breaker. And no, I don’t really get the whole point of that verse.
But in reality, the scripture that hits me the most is only two words, found in John 11:35 — “Jesus wept.”
For Christians, Jesus, the Son of God, was also the very essence of God in human form while on earth. Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to experience life as we know it. The great and the awful.
To answer my earlier question, if Jesus wept, then I know God weeps as well at times like this. And I know it is a sobbing unlike no other, one that can be experienced only by the Master and Creator of the universe.
And I know that weeping turned to insurmountable joy as little Abby came home. I say “home” because I do not believe this, as in Earth and our life on it, is home. We are here but a moment, when you consider life in terms of infinity.
And I take great comfort in that.
John A. Winters is a staff writer for The Newnan Times-Herald. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org . His personal blog is at justflipthedog.com .