Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grace and grief

I've been reading a book entitled A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser -- a book about grief. Back in the early 1990s, Sittser lost three members of his family in a tragic automobile accident -- his mother, his wife and one of their four children all died when a drunk driver plowed into the family van. Because they were in a rural area when the accident occurred, it took an hour for an emergency vehicle to arrive, during which time Sittser watched his wife, his mother, and his daughter die before his eyes.

The book, originally published in 1996, chronicles his journey through grief to where he could finally see God's grace in the situation.

Sittser's loss is much more tragic than mine, and some things in the book deal specifically with loss that is truly catastrophic, but much of the grieving process is the same.

I've come now to the part of the book where Sittser talks about life not being fair, and it is this thought that I have been chewing over for many days now. And not just with regard to grief, but in general terms. Life ISN'T fair, and Sittser correctly says that we shouldn't wish for it to be. For if it were, we would not know God's grace. We don't deserve God's grace, therefore it isn't "fair" either. If fairness were the rule, we might not suffer much but we also would not know the richness of relationship with our God and Father. Life isn't fair -- we do suffer terribly at times -- but, because of the 'unfairness,' we also know the unmerited grace of God.

- Catherine

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