The rain that has fallen all day pretty much illustrates how I’ve been feeling. (I took the picture in January.) But one thing happened today that I want to share.
Jenny had heard some news about Lexuses crashing because of accelerator problems, and she was concerned, so I called our dealer. I talked to the service department and also to the salesman, Tom, who sold us both of our cars, Kara’s car, and Katie’s old car. After he reassured me in detail about why I did not need to worry, I expressed sympathy for his situation. He told me he is so deeply concerned for his customers and the fear and anxiety they are experiencing from all of this. He told me about all the people he has sold cars to, including many at his church, and said that he wouldn’t be able to bear it if someone died because he had sold them a car.
I said, “Tom, I truly know how you feel.” And then I told him the story of how God gave me Precious, my ferret, 5 ½ years ago, two weeks before our dogs both died; how she was my little companion while Herb and Kara were gone at school; and how much I loved her. Then I told him how she had been so sick while I had to be out of town; and how my nephew kept her alive for 8 days until I got home; and how she was doing better and actually felt well enough on Monday to run around the house. And then I did a load of laundry, not knowing she was napping in it, and when I took out the sheets that night, I found her little body. I had killed my dear Precious. And I said I knew he must be in agony worrying every day that he would get the news that someone had died in a car he had sold them.
Bless his heart, he was in tears for me and said he didn’t know how you could get through something like that. I told him that I was struggling with how God could let Precious suffer and die like that, and then my precious son shared something with me. “Please,” Tom said, “tell me what he said.”
So I told him what Jim said: That we live in a fallen world that is groaning, waiting for redemption, and that is why such tragic accidents happen. God does not cause them to happen; they happen because of the world we live in. God longs to redeem that world and heal it, but he is delaying to give people a chance to come to him. And meanwhile, we suffer from the tragedy and brokenness in the world. God does not promise to save us from the tragic effects of living in this broken world, but he does promise to be there to give us his comfort and love through it all.
We talked a little more, and as we ended our conversation Tom said, “Susan, I know why you think you called me today, but you really called to witness to me.”
This story doesn’t explain “the reason” this tragedy happened to Precious. This isn’t something that can make me feel better about the way she died. This isn’t “all things working together for good” the way most people mean it. (I don’t think that’s what that verse means.) There is no good in Precious dying like that; it is purely and simply a result of evil having come into the world.
But this story does show me that indeed, God is good. He is good to have given me comfort through Jim’s words of wisdom. He is good to have led me to call Tom today. And he is good to have comforted Tom in his need. And in some small way, that comforts my heart, too.