A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stories Known Only to God

I find people to be very interesting. Each individual is a story filled with joys and disappointments on a journey that takes unexpected twists and unanticipated turns. Each individual story could not be possible without the storied people around them-- family and friends-- who help make them who they are, and assist them as they make their way in life. People are interesting indeed.

I am reminded of this in times of great loss of life. Last Thursday night as I watched the news of the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 in Buffalo, NY that left 50 dead, I started thinking about all the stories that had so violently and abruptly ended. There was the pilot, Marvin Renslow, whose life, according to his wife, revolved around his family, his faith, and his passion for flying. There was the young co-pilot, Rebecca Shaw, who said that she couldn't believe that she was getting paid for something she loved to do. Alison Des Forges was the senior adviser of the New York-based Human Rights Watch's Africa Division. She spent four years in Rwanda documenting the genocide tragically taking place in that country. Beverly Eckert also perished in the crash. She was the widow of Sean Rooney who was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11th. She worked for more land to be devoted to the ground zero memorial in New York City and campaigned hard for a victims' families compensation fund.

There are others; people whose stories came to a conclusion last Thursday, many of them much too soon. Along with them, each and every day, other individuals close the pages on their storied lives on this earth. Most of them will not get any press coverage, though they will probably get an obituary that readers will only take note of if they are known to them. But most in our world will not even be so blessed to receive such a tribute after their deaths. I have been in some extremely remote places in the world where life stories will conclude with no one's awareness-- the small banana leaf hut in the steep valley in the isolated and remote mountains of Haiti-- where the one lone man lives all by himself day after day, and who may not even have anyone to bury him after he dies. His story is interesting and important as well. And even though mortals may not know his life's narrative, it is known to God; and God takes delight in this man and each and every page of his life's book he has written on each and every day that he has drawn breath.

No human story is ever forgotten because each page of every chapter of all the volumes of the library of storied lives are indeed known to God.


Angie Van De Merwe said...

Yes, people impact our lives and send us messages about its importance (or insignificance). I find that those who are most opinionated about how and what life should be about, are the ones who demand others do what they think is important, while sending the message to the one they make demands upon, that their life is meaningless and unimportant (Of course, this teaches and trains others to be "unselfish" according to their own understanding)...I once did believe in a personal God that loved me individually, but I don't anymore. There are natural social structures that are impacted by the political that "make the difference" in life...I just found that out too late!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes. Amen. We just fail to see as God sees, just how precious each human is to God. Good thoughts that way for us.