A week later…
18 August 2011
In 2011, Nathan Tasker and his wife Cassie tragically lost their twins, a girl and a boy, at 22 weeks’ gestation. Shortly afterwards, Nathan published the following post on his blog. Unforeseen technical problems mean that it’s not currently available there, so we have republished it in full below with Nathan’s kind permission.
This past week has been a blur—so many emails, Facebook messages, meals dropped in, visits from good friends—but not so much of a blur that we haven’t connected with a depth of sorrow never experienced before.
Tragic events have always caused me to ask questions of God, questions that have led me back to Scripture, searching for answers in the midst of difficulty and pain. Sometimes it is on behalf of others that I search. More recently the death of my father-in-law found me looking for a glimpse of ‘home’ in the promises of God (hence the title of my new album, ‘Home’).
However, this past week my heart has been too heavy for movement of any kind. Under the weight of a sorrow that makes no sense, I struggle to convince my heart to move forward, and to search for answers. Instead it has been a week of crying out.
With no clear answers in sight I’m reminded of Job as he sat on the rubbish dump of life and mourned. His friends came to visit him and for the first week they simply sat, without a word, sharing in his sufferings. Unfortunately for Job (and for his friends, by the end of the book), they felt the urge to open their mouths and suggest some answers as to why Job was experiencing such loss. Perhaps they were hoping to console him. Maybe they just liked feeling as if they had the answer when Job did not. Whatever the case, their help was as effective as a pair of concrete shoes for a drowning man.
There are moments when the darkness is so black that no light seems to penetrate the darkness and we are left asking the question ‘Why?’ with silence as the only reply… Then a friend comes alongside you, gives you a hug and listens to your complaint and questioning, with no judgement, no condemnation. You remember that you are not alone. Their presence is an echo of a greater presence, one that has never left me even when I couldn’t see or feel him close.
Along with this, I have literally received hundreds of messages from so many friends around the world this past week—some I know as well as I know myself, others I have had the privilege of meeting only once or twice, and even more messages have come from people I have yet to meet (but hope to someday).
One after the other, these messages have had similar content that I have appreciated—sadness at hearing our news, promises of prayer, and a longing for us to know how loved we are in spite of all we are experiencing now.
And these messages surround me, like a great crowd of witnesses, offering up prayers when I can’t pray, reminding me of great love when I can’t see it, offering verses to light my way even as I stumble through the darkest night.
These messages are like little bottles of hope, washing up on the shore of my life, reminding me I am not alone.
And for this I am grateful to each and every one of you who has written and visited.
I am reminded of the truth of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words:
Christ on the lips of my brother is often stronger than the Christ in my own heart. (my paraphrase)
Thank you for holding me up when I have found it hard to stand…