Monday, March 24, 2014

"All Lives Lost"

Could there be a more wrenching, heartbreaking headline or post or tweet? Those bleary-eyed, pitiful families of the missing Malaysia Flight 370 passengers finally heard those chilling words today. After seventeen torturous days of waiting and praying and pleading, the last few drops of hope have been swept away, lost in a vast, deserted ocean of uncertainty. The lost plane is down in the distant depths, the satellites pinging its path towards disaster. No one knows what happened, what caused the plane to change course so dramatically and head in the direction of no return. The black box that could perhaps tell the whole story lies on the ocean floor with a dying battery and a fading signal.

I've been following the news of the recovery efforts day by day. Networks like CNN have just about exhausted every possible detail and perspective on this story and I confess, I got a little tired of it myself. But I keep coming back to those families, those anguished expressions, the angry frustration, the overwhelming fear on their faces. And now those husbands and wives, parents and children have an answer, a final verdict which must be true, but they can see no real evidence, no proof positive, and certainly no reason or explanation for their horrific loss. What complicated grief it must be, to lose a loved one so suddenly and tragically, yet stretched over seventeen nightmarish days, and then only to hear those words, "All lives lost." How can they put a period at the end of this story when so many questions marks still hang in the air?

So tonight, I pray for the lost and those who loved the lost. Give them grace to grieve and to heal, even while they long for answers, even without reason or explanation, even without a brow to touch or a body to bury. Give them courage to commit their beloved to the depths of God's grace and love. And may the Christ who came into this world to bind up the brokenhearted, find His humble way to their wounded, waiting hearts. Amen.

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