Friday, December 7, 2012

Sustaining Grace

Most of you who read my blog already know that crisis knocked on my family's door the day before Thanksgiving, when my 85-year-old father fell from the roof of our home while hanging Christmas lights. His ladder broke, and his injury was grave. A pilon fracture. An open break. All the things that can cause even young men to lose their legs.

Some say that "believers" aren't supposed to ask why, but I did. Not once. Not twice. I asked it numerous times over the course of the next few days.

Why, God? Why did such a violent thing have to happen to my daddy. He's 85. He was in great shape, walking a mile every day except Sundays. It seems so cruel, God. So unfair. So wrong. I'd just like to know why.

Being the perfect Father that he is, God understood my need to knowI am human, after allbut he didn't answer my question.

One evening, after an exhausting day of keeping vigil at the hospital, the injustice of it all overwhelmed me again, and I raised the question to my mother, the wisest woman I know. Why, Mother? Why did this happen to Daddy?

"It's the law of gravity, baby."

No, I'm serious, Mother. Why now? After all these years? I mean, how many times has Daddy been on that roof, hanging those lights? Umpteen times. Umpteen times, Mother. And this time, when he's nearing the end of his life, he falls and may never walk unaided again. I'd just like to know why, Mother. Can you tell me why?

"Because the ladder broke, sweetheart. The ladder broke."

Matthew 5:45 tells us that God allows the sun to rise on the evil and on the good. He allows the rain to fall on the just and on the unjust. Corrupt men win, and honest men lose. We can whine and moan till the cows come home, but as long as we are imperfect people in an imperfect world, tragedy will visit us all in some form or another. Daddy fell because his ladder broke. Nothing more; nothing less.

I can either allow God's grace to sustain me during this time of personal despair, or I can become angry and bitter and keep asking why. The choice is mine to make, and after an ocean of tears and a million whys, I'm making my choice today: Goodbye, questions. Hello, grace. ♦

grace  - noun \ˈgrās\   a: unmerited divine assistance given humans

"My grace is sufficient for you." 2 Corinthians 12:9


  1. I'm so very sorry about your Daddy. How your heart must ache, even though you have a good hold on "grace". Hugs and prayers for you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate your prayers. It is a challenging time for us all.

  2. Oh Gayle,

    My heart breaks over this devastating news. I pray that your father will heal, and that your family will be sustained through this tragedy.

    I thought your mom had such simply profound answers. Sometimes there is no other answer to the agonizing question of "Why" other than the fact that we live on a broken planet.

    I was also reminded of this Scripture: "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail." (Lamentations 3:22, NIV)

    It is HIS grace that sustains us all - even when terrible things happen.

    May the Lord bring to you the assurance of His faithfulness, the comfort of His presence, and the peace of His grace.


    1. Thank you, Sharon, for your sweet message, and thanks for your prayers.

  3. Well trust me I know how hard it is sometimes to wrap your head around such circumstances, but I am soo happy to hear you have got your heart right where it needs to be. I LOVE your mom's answers. Such a wise woman. I am praying your dad's recovery is as quick, and pain free as possible, and that all of you around him bring him both comfort and a smile to his heart.

    1. Thank you, Debbie, for your prayers and kind words. One day at a time is our theme.

  4. I just read Dayle's update so I know he is home. What a praise and encouragement that is.

    As to your interchange with your mom, I just love her. I imagine her face as she said it because I've seen pictures. Such quiet wisdom. I want to grow up and be that. In the meantime, I'm more like you and ask and ask and ask.

    May God continue to answer you in ALL the ways that He has been answering!

  5. What a wise mother! And what a wise Gayle, to accept grace to sustain you in this time of trials. Today is April 29. By now, your father's recovery is almost five months long. I hope things have gone well in his healing.


    1. Judith, I don't know if you're still blogging, but Daddy will be 90 in May, and he has been walking his daily mile for awhile now. God is good.