This week two sisters lost their babies in child birth on the same day in childbirth just hours apart. One of the sisters, and her children, are friends of our family. The loss struck home after our two miscarriages last year, and with our anticipation of Baby Echo's arrival in August. We know of their pain, and pray for their families to weather the storm of emotion which comes with it. The event brought back common question from a few people I talked to: "How can God let such pain enter the world if he is so great?"
Maybe this can help explain a little bit...
A little over a week ago some criminals broke into my car, and emptied it out of everything they could make money from. I was mad, scared, embarrassed, the whole range of emotion. I of course went to mall security, called the cops, and asked if they had anything which could help my situation. As I walked with the security manager to my car we started talking.
As we approached my car he identified how they crooks got in from previous robberies. Then we waited for the patrol unit to arrive with a detective. As we waited I popped the trunk and in it only three items remained. One of them was a 14 year old army camouflage folding chair issued at only one place in the Army.
He looked at it and said, "Were you an OC in the desert?" Well yes I was... Soon I found out he was Sidewinder 39 Ancient, and he found out I was a Cobra 13 Ancient at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. He threw artillery fire, and I chased armored companies across the desert floor. We roamed the desert for two years together, possibly only meeting at a dinner or two for mere minutes...but we effected each other's work and knew the call signs.
I asked him how he liked the tour, and he responded it was a tough tour. During their tour out in the desert he had a stillborn baby in 2001. It was then my heart sank, and I knew the other side of a story.
Almost 14 years ago in a desert far far away in 2001:
When my wife had our first pregnancy her blood pressure spiked greatly. The doctor scheduled extra checks, and on her week 38 visit the blood pressure was still at the same spot...high...as the week before. The doctor then said abruptly, "One way or another this pregnancy ends today." Just the tone of her voice put chills in our hearts, and the words sunk into our heads like lead weights in water. After a quick trip home to get our hospital bag we had our baby girl in our arms just four hours later. My wife's blood pressure ended up causing no problems, and quick action by the doc kept the cord around my girl's neck from causing lasting harm.
As we held our baby a few hours later I asked the nurse if the doctor was always that curt in her bedside manner. The nurse said no. My wife however matched the profile of a women who lost her child in the clinic earlier in the year. The doctor would take no chances with this pregnancy, and wanted to protect the baby at all costs. This was why the doctor was so focused during our delivery day.
Ten days ago...
I put my hand on that Security Chief's arm, and told him his baby saved my baby's life. I know my words can do nothing to ease the pain of such a loss, but I had to say them. I was happy to then hear his other children are now strong adults. He is proud of them, as he should be. I did however remember him and his family in my prayers at some point in the days since that moment.
So here is the answer to the question about pain and suffering in this world right under the nose of an all powerful God. We live in a fallen world feeling the effects of original sin. Fallen worlds have sickness, death and people doing their selfish will rather than working for unity in God's will. Through all of this God, still gets the last laugh.
I know babies born without the breath of life go straight to the embrace of God. Then you have incidents like the losses of these three families. I know the crooks got away with my stuff, but in their evil I met a man thousands of miles and years later who's family's sacrifice saved the life of my lovely oldest daughter...my Desert Rose. What will come out of the losses of these sisters today? I do not know yet, but I know there is seed sown for great and redeeming works of grace which may not bloom for decades. When it blooms the name of two cousins will be on it, and they two will rejoice in its bloom as they dance with the Lord.
Until the day this new grace blossoms, I will enjoy the dancing of my blooming Desert Rose as I reminisce on this chance to see how God works his will through both the good and the bad.