Parents desire to comfort their children.
Why does God allow us to suffer? I heard a woman tell a story recently and I imagine most mamas can relate. Your toddler is sick and you need to hold him still so the nurses can do something. He says, “No Mommy. No Mommy,” and looks at you like you’re the one hurting him. All you want is to love him well and make him better!
I see the analogy she was making with God our Father. Sometimes we ask, “Why did you do this to me?!” When all He wants is to love us well through our struggles and to heal us.
As she spoke, I immediately pictured my Augustine. When I opened the door to the babysitter holding him while he was choking, he looked terrified. I imagine he was so scared. He couldn’t take the breath he so desperately wanted. His lungs probably burned. And I imagine him looking at me with relief and thinking, “Mom! My mom will make this all better!” That’s what we expect moms to do. They make it all better.
I looked into his eyes and I took him from her arms. Then, I immediately flipped him over so he was facing away from me and started pounding on his back.
That I had to turn him away from me is deeply painful for me. Not only could I not fix this and make him better, I also couldn’t snuggle him while he suffered.
After his heart stopped, I started compressions until emergency responders got there. I didn’t fix it and I didn’t save him. Days later, because we donated his organs, I also couldn’t snuggle him while his body stopped circulating blood. We are made to hold our babies in our arms and comfort them. It hurts when we can’t.
Stories of loss are all unique. But I thought you should know that I don’t write about hope because I had nothing to do with my son’s death. No matter your story or your loss, there’s hope for you, too.
God works in miracles. Expect them.
Venerable Fulton Sheen’s first miracle is a boy born without a heartbeat. His heart did not start beating until his 61st minute of life. An hour! I was really hopeful Gus could be his second miracle.
But God had other miracles in mind. He wanted more for us than to just save Gus’ life here on earth. He wanted him in eternity with him and he wanted some other souls in eternity with him. I am sure a beautiful miracle of Gus’ healing would have had a profound impact on people. But I have had countless people tell or write to me that Gus has changed their life. That they know God in a way they didn’t before. And a year later, they tell me their families are not the same. Their lives are centered on God because Gus keeps showing them the road.
Why does God allow us to suffer?
When we think, “God, why did you allow this to happen to me?” Why do you allow us to suffer?” We fail to realize He wants so much more for us than we want for ourselves. God gives us the freedom to choose Him. We aren’t forced to see or to listen or to follow. But He lays out some really stunning paths as options for us to follow Him. To love Him. To choose Him and eternity forever.
We’re all going to die. Even if we live to 100 that’s not very long. We all get to choose. I much prefer the beauty and love of God over the promises of this earth.
Even if I couldn’t comfort Gus like I wanted to and make everything better, he understands now. Maybe the purpose of my CPR was so two other little boys could stay on earth a little while longer. Gus is more knowledgeable and alive now in Heaven than we are on earth! St. Gus, keep praying for us buddy, and showing us the way to Jesus.