The grace of normalcy

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    blessed be the name of the Lord!

Job 1:21

This past Thanksgiving, we discovered that God had given us a new life to look after. And twelve days later, God took our little one home.

I desperately asked, “Why?” And just as desperately tried to answer my own question. I mean, everything happens for a reason, right? Could I have done something to avoid this? Was there something broken within my body? Did I do something to deserve this? 

But sometimes there’s really, truly no earthly reason to satisfy our, “Why?” I kept going back to the story of poor Job, a blameless, righteous man…even he didn’t receive an explanation for all his suffering. Yet still he exclaimed, “Blessed be the name the Lord!” This gave me pause. I mean, there’s such obvious dissonance between the mingled grief and jubilance in his exclamation. But people do weird stuff all the time, like laugh at funerals and cry at weddings…and God is God in times of both joy and sorrow. Maybe it’s okay to feel heartache and praise God in the same breath. 

Blessed be the name of the Lord for the twelve happy days we had with our poppy seed here on earth. For how loved this baby was, and continues to be. 

Blessed be the name of the Lord for the times she met Jesus in the Eucharist. For the grace to pray for a baptism of desire when we knew something was wrong. 

Blessed be the name of the Lord for the family and friends who’ve shared our grief and halved our sorrow. For understanding colleagues. For the joy of Benny’s big, gummy smile when he wakes up and it’s like the sun’s come out again. 

Blessed be the name of the Lord for filling the cracks in my heart with Himself. For the grace of normalcy that’s allowed me to keep my heart open to God and the people He gave me to care for. 

I treasure this picture of my babies, Benedict and Cecilia. Jeff and I loved the name when I was pregnant with Benny, and it was St. Cecilia’s feast day when we found out we were expecting again…of course, we think Cecil is a fine boys’ name, too!

One thought on “The grace of normalcy

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