A Lament for Breaking Hearts


Tears this week, not for me. But for the hurting I know. The hurting I’ve met. The hurting I read on Facebook, my Twitter feed. The hurting I see on the news.

I get a text. My eyes can’t believe what I’m reading. A friend. An ER visit. The unthinkable. Tumor. Cancer. Uncertainty.

My friend, a mother unexpectedly receiving news she has a frightening brain tumor. At peace with her own mortality, yet her daughter’s life flashes before her eyes. If things don’t go well… a young girl may grow up without her mother. It’s a mother’s worst fear. Leaving her children when they need her most. Life interrupted. A future uncertain.  Meanwhile her husband sits by her side. He feels that primal need to protect his beloved. And yet he feels powerless. Unable to do a damn thing to change a diagnosis. Keeping it together for her and for their family.

Tears. Pain. Heartbreak. With that one question lingering in the air. Why?

I open Facebook. There in a status update. A child suffering seizures…again. Placed in a medically induced coma… again. So young, so little, so many tubes. A mother raging in shock. Not again! What about the progress made since last year? His improvements.  These things are never in our plans. Never.  Again, powerlessness. Unable to protect that little one from suffering.

Tears. Pain. Heartbreak. And again. Why?

I ride in a car with a friend. I listen to struggle. A child living with a challenging medical condition. The bravery to face it daily inspires.  The questions of “why me” endured privately at home is no surprise, but no easier to hear. Parents who look a bit wearier than they once did.  Concern always on their face even as they smile and laugh and tell you they are okay.  Confessing doubts and anger. Learning to live in the tension.

Choked back tears. Pain. Heartbreak. With a lingering Why?

A Twitter message. A name on the other side of the screen saw something I wrote. It inspired her. Asks me for advice. How do I tell my child she’s a product of sexual assault? The inner torment that mother feels. Reaching out to a person on the internet. Facing a decision that isn’t easy. Wondering how a teenage child might respond, might feel, might change because of earth-shattering revelations. The mother’s pain of carrying this burden. The mother’s pain of having once been assaulted. Yet her bravery and her words… the child was a gift, a shining moment from a dark and brutal experience.  The struggle in the words I read on my screen. The crossroads she faces.

Oh tears. And painful heartbreak. Living with a What if?

So many more painful stories – Marriages on the brink. Illness. Cancer. Financial insecurity. Emotional distress.

Oh, God?! There is pain and fear and hurt and struggle. You are the God that gives and takes away. You make beautiful things out of dust!

Give us back our friend. Give her back her health. Give her child a full life with her mother.

Give us back our children who are suffering. Give us back our normalcy. Give us restoration. Give us a cure.

Give us healed hearts and peace of mind. Give us healed relationships. Give us wisdom and your peace.

Lord have Mercy, Christ have Mercy.

3 responses to “A Lament for Breaking Hearts

  1. The news about RW hit us like a ton of bricks. It was like deja vu except with a scarier prognosis. Even after visiting with them yesterday it still doesn’t seem real.

  2. He who goes out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
    will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6
    This is altar verse for me (a place where God met me). Part of the lesson He was teaching me in this time was there is waiting for growth between the sowing and harvesting. Patience and growth are both hard.

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