Every now and then, I write something that isn’t fantasy. It’s rare and strange, I know.
A few months ago, the worship director at my church asked me to write a skit for Easter. Today, I got some heartbreaking news about a friend who lost her baby in a late-term miscarriage, and my heart is broken for her and her family. Having experienced two miscarriages myself, and knowing many friends who have dealt with the inability to have children, or experienced miscarriages or the loss of a child, this is a sorrow that I feel keenly. The other kind of loss portrayed in this skit is one I have only glimpsed from afar, but I have noticed that while the experience is drastically different, the emotions and questions are often identical.
So, today, I wanted to share this skit with you, dear Reader. Perhaps it can bring you a measure of comfort if you have dealt with such loss yourself, or can provide you some insight if someone you love is dealing with this sort of loss. There are a lot of emotions that go along with this sort of pain, and in the midst of such deep anguish, it can feel like God is absent or silent or unmoved by our sorrow. None of these things are true, but it isn’t always apparent to us in the throes of our loss.
When God Seems Silent
[A man and a woman stand at opposite ends of the stage, facing away from each other]
Man: She’s gone. She’s really gone.
Woman: He’s gone. He’s just… gone.
Man: How much time would have been enough? Twenty-five years of marriage seems too short. Would fifty or sixty have been better? I wasn’t ready for this. I still had things to say.
Woman: The doctors all told us we would never have children of our own. When we found out we were pregnant, it was the happiest day of our lives. We praised God for this miracle with tears of joy. I felt like Hannah of the Bible, or Sarah. All the stories of God’s miracles came alive for me.
Man: The day we got her diagnosis was the hardest day of our lives. I will never forget that day. We cried and prayed together, asking for direction, for healing, and for wisdom for the doctors.
Woman: With grateful hearts we looked forward to our baby’s arrival. Nine months would fly by. In spite of our miracle, I found myself worrying for no reason, feeling inadequate as my energy levels fell. I asked the Lord daily for His provision, for strength to do what tasks I could and for peace to leave the things I could not.
Man: Ten long, hard, painful months of treatment. How they dragged. I learned anew the meaning of praying constantly. Even in the darkest moments, I could feel God’s presence with us, giving us strength. And then, suddenly, there was a light at the end of our tunnel.
Woman: Complications. Threat of miscarriage. Terror. The doctors are doing everything they can. Please, God, please let our baby be okay.
Man: When they told us she was in remission, it was the happiest day of our lives, an answer to prayer. Our future lay before us once again. It was bright and promising and beautiful. The Lord had blessed us and we thanked Him for the healing He had provided.
Woman: The day our son was born was the hardest day of our lives. Too early. Stillborn. Our future was bleak and empty. All the things he would never do. All the things we would never get to see him do… I tried to pray, but I felt like my words went unheard.
Man: And then… a car accident? God, how could you let this happen? Are there no answers? To go through all of that, to fight that battle, and then to lose her anyway? What is that supposed to teach me?
Woman: How is it possible to be filled with inexpressible joy one moment, only to have it replaced by heart-crushing despair the next? Why, Lord? I don’t understand! My knees are bruised from falling on them so hard. My soul is empty and all I have left are questions.
Man: What was the point of all my prayers? I was taught to believe, to hope, that you would make a difference, God. Perhaps it would have been better not to pray, at least then I would not have had this false hope. Perhaps then I would not be so angry at you.
Woman: I know that God is still good. I repeat this mantra to myself until the words have little meaning left. How can this be good?
Man: I miss her so much.
Woman: Do we only get half a miracle?
Man: Lord, I have to admit, I am furious with you. It’s bad enough that you let this happen, but right now, when I need you the most, you are just so…
Woman: I know you’re still there, God. But right now, I can’t hear you. You just seem so…
Both together: Silent.