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These Things Happen

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

James Kim never made it to help. His quest ended in a cold mountain creek. In the last stages of hypothermia and delerium, people feel as if they're burning up. A trail of his clothing led to the water. This resourceful, brilliant, soulful and loving young man tried to save his girls, but the mountain got him in the end.

What to conclude? That sometimes prayers work and sometimes they don't? Which leads me to wonder: How does any of this work? Is there anything to conclude? Is it all just random?

Mountains and canyons don't care what goes on among the tiny life forms scrambling along their flanks. Cold fronts and snow squalls simply are. It is left to us to wait and worry, hope for the best and fear the worst. It's left to us to love and weep and ache. The sun rises and sets and bathes the snowy peaks in light. Human anguish leaves the cliffs and canyons unmoved, just as beautiful as before, just as impassionate, just as dangerous. There is no remorse in nature.

Are these the mysterious ways of God? When a tornado hits an elementary school, is there a plan, something to be learned or gained? Was the tsunami his work?

Have we been moved to invent this benevolent power to help us grapple with our own crushing insignificance?
Sabine asks for her daddy now, but she will not remember him. Penelope and Kati are forever changed. They will have to find a way to go on without James. I am heartbroken tonight, a part of me forever changed, too.
And now they are three.

Treasure your babies, your husband, your wife, your friends. Love them now, with all the passion you can muster. Never assume they will always be with you. We never know when they may wander away, or be taken from us.


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