The Joy That Lies Behind: One Place to Look When Tragedy Strikes
After the loss of my son, I discovered that so many of the common images of life that possessed no emotional associations in the past become emblems of sadness. The playground on the drive to work now provokes painful memories. The fire station that you never noticed now carries a daunting reminder of the paramedics who carried him to the hospital. The emergency room entrance at the Children’s Hospital previously did not matter, but now you drive miles out of the way to avoid ever seeing it again.
The optics of tragedy make seeing a fearful challenge in daily life. While we may conceptually accept that God is a deliverer, all of the visual wreckage and debris that surrounds our lives undermines the notion of God’s goodness. For most of us, images of our worst pervade our lives.
How does one find joy, and, therein, the companionship of God, when all of the images around us exacerbate our pain and feed our doubts?