The writer of a wonderful book on grief looks back 36 years

Ten years ago an old friend of mine gave me Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff. It is a tremendous book to help people understand grieving, and it helped me immeasurably.

Wolterstorff, now 86, has written a very thoughtful essay in the Jan. 10, 2019 “Christian Century” Magazine called Grief speaks the truth.

Looking back nearly 36 years after his own son’s death in a mountain-climbing accident in Germany, Wolterstorff writes:

I did not shy away from taking note of the gaping void in me that his death caused. I did not shy away from voicing my lament over his death. But I could not bring myself to try to figure out what God was up to in Eric’s death.  I joined the psalmist in lamenting without explaining. Things have gone awry in God’s world. I do not understand why, nor do I understand why God puts up with it for so long. Rather than Eric’s death evoking in me an interest in theodicy (understanding why a good, all-knowing God permits evil), it had the effect of making God more mysterious. I live with the mystery. … The God who became more mysterious to me has also become more awesome, awesome beyond comprehension.”

My sentiments, too. Lament is part of life,and while we live by faith, life is full of a whole lot of mystery.

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