Since I want my blog to impact and encourage a diverse audience, I try to limit expressions of faith. I am after all a financial advisor, not a minister, and this is a coaching blog, not a sermon. Please forgive me if I push the boundary just this once as I explore the theme of hope and resiliency. My son, Quinn, died a little over six years ago. He was almost 15 months old but developmentally closer to 3 months. He was unable to nurse and connected to a feeding tube at night. Therapists and doctor visits were a regular part of my wife’s schedule (on top of raising three other young kids). Quinn smiled and cackled only a few precious times. Quinn’s chapter would not have been included if I were the author of life. Thankfully, God writes better stories than me and sees things that I cannot.
C.S. Lewis said that “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our consciences and shouts to us in our pain. Pain is God’s megaphone to a deaf and dying world.”
I am grateful for Quinn’s life and his death. Quinn brought me closer to the heart of God and transformed my appreciation of the resurrection story. He gave me a perspective that would have eluded me for decades. As William Blake penned, “This life’s dim windows of the soul/Distorts the heavens from pole to pole/And leads you to believe a lie/When you see with, not through, the eye. Learn to see in others what is underneath the surface.” One of my favorite Proverbs of King Solomon is “Even in laughter a heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” People are craving encouragement, kindness, and love behind the mask of social media, makeup, and pretending.
Before Quinn passed away, one of our dear friends shared with my wife this advice, “Instead of asking God why, ask, now what?” Nothing wiser could have been said. When things don’t go our way, we like to whine…a lot. When I complained as a youngster, my mom, feigning deep empathy, would sing this song, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery, ohhh Gloom, despair, and agony on me.” We all bare burdens. We are all unfairly treated at times. Health fails. People die. Kids die. Sin and brokenness are not a figment of our imagination. I know where hope can be found, but remember, this blog is not a sermon. However, Queen Lucy gave you a clue on my family Christmas card, “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”
Following Quinn’s service, several people commented on the strength of my faith and how it must sustain me.
While it might seem like wordplay, I do not feel indebted to my faith but to God Himself. In my journal I wrote, “I don’t know if Quinn ever really saw me, but I saw Him. God sees us, and I believe that is infinitely more important than our ability to see Him. His peace transcends our understanding and not the other way around.” I have a small tepee in my office that Quinn’s older sister made shortly before he died. On it her preschool teacher wrote, “Naomi is thankful for Quinn.” Quinn’s death led to Malachi’s birth. Tragedy produces treasure all the time. Hearing such stories brings me hope.