Song for sorrowers

David Gibson  |  Features
Date posted:  1 Jul 2010
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We are not the first people to ask ‘where is God?’ when unspeakable agonies grip our souls. But it is something of a surprise to have help not in the form of direct theological teaching but in the Psalms, in the form of songs and prayers.

‘Ten minutes into our trip home I noticed an oncoming car on a lonely stretch of highway driving extremely fast. I slowed down at a curve, but the other car did not. It jumped its lane and smashed head-on into our minivan. I learned later that the alleged driver was drunk, driving at 85mph.

‘I remember those first moments after the accident... They are frozen into my memory with a terrible vividness. The scene was chaotic. I remember the look of terror on the faces of my children and the feeling of horror that swept over me when I saw the unconscious and broken bodies of Lynda (my wife), my four-year-old daughter Diana Jane, and my mother. I remember getting Catherine (then eight), David (seven) and John (two) out of the van. I remember taking pulses, doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, trying to save the dying and calm the living. I remember the feeling of panic as I watched my wife, my mother and my daughter all die before my eyes. I remember the pandemonium that followed — people gawking, lights flashing from emergency vehicles. And I remember the realisation sweeping over me that I would soon plunge into a darkness from which I might never again emerge as a sane, normal, believing man’ (A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Crows through Loss by Gerald L. Sittser).

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