When I was up in Philly a couple of months ago, my friend Chris led a prayer for all of the unborn children in attendance. Mine were a couple of hours away, but he let me come up anyway, and read the most beautiful and evocative and faith-filled prayer I may have ever heard. When I was thanking him for it later, I wrestled out this arresting fact: he wrote it himself. And when I asked him how?, he deferred, but mentioned a book which had been formative for him.
Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Lament for a Son is a thin book with a lot of weight. It recounts the swirling thoughts of the first year after a fateful phone call telling him that his twenty-five-year-old son had died in a mountaineering accident. In this bloggish account, we see the author trying to find some solid ground between the polar ideas that God causes such things, or that he is powerless to stop them. In the middle, he explores the idea that God suffers—that he endures our grief with us, and takes it on himself, and carries it upon his considerable shoulders.