Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Severe Mercy - told through Lynne

Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I remember reading a book that transformed my understanding of God's infinite wisdom.  It was called, A Severe Mercy.  It's the true story of two very privileged intellectuals who commit themselves to knowing and experiencing life through complete devotion of one another. As their extremely inclusive tale unfolds, they eventually develop a friendship with C.S. Lewis and search for faith in God.  Then the unthinkable happens... an untimely and tragic death.

My brother, Brian was only 36 years old when his tragic and untimely death occurred. One of the first things I felt in my heart was a deep and penetrating loss.  The kind of loss that chokes words from your vocabulary. The kind of loss that comes from the depths of your soul and can only express itself through the gut-wrenching moans of one's heart...

... It's strange, however. Somehow in the midst of my devastating pain, I took solace in knowing that God had performed a severe mercy.
mercy |ˈmərsē|noun ( pl. -cies)compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm • an event to be grateful foresp. because its occurrence prevents something unpleasant or provides relief from suffering• [as adj. (esp. of a journey or mission) performed out of a desire to relieve sufferingmotivated by compassion
severe |səˈvi(ə)r|adjective(of something bad or undesirablevery greatintense • demanding great ability, skill, or resilience strict or harsh 
The loss of Brian's presence, friendship and laughter in my life was-and-still-is severe, but I've never questioned God's severe mercy in taking him from us.  Today would have been Brian's forty-fourth birthday.  I remember him today with a devoted love and many fond memories.  Happy Birthday, Bro!



  1. Oh Lynne I am so sorry. I hope you can take comfort in God's loving arms and grateful that you will see him again someday. It is hard to know really why God takes those we love before we are ready for him to. I have to think it is also for us. Something we must go through as well. I have lost my oldest sister before her time but I learned so much from her grace during her last years. I have lost both my parents now and my child many years ago who was stillborn. There are many questions I have about these losses but I know all will be revealed to me someday. You are in my prayers my friend. Becs

  2. Thank you Becky for your sweet and kind words of encouragement. I've lost both my dad and brother at early ages and very suddenly. In both cases, their physical suffering was over within in a blink of an eye. I'm so grateful that they didn't suffer a long drawn out illness. After working through the shock of the suddenness of both their deaths, I can see now how it was truly the most merciful way.

    In times like this, I think people can go one of two ways... cling to God or turn away from Him. These life-altering events have drawn me closer to God and have taught me what's important in this life. I am so thankful that both relationships were rich and loving, and that I don't have any regrets.

    Although I still miss them greatly, I love their memory. Thinking of them gives me joy and often a giggle or smile. As you can see from the picture of Brian... he definitely had a twinkle in his eye, and made me laugh often!

    You've been through a tremendous amount of loss yourself... I'm glad you too have the comfort of an Almighty God and assurance of being reunited with your loved-ones one day. How do people cope with out that? Blessings to you friend! Lynne

  3. Through God's mercy and Grace we can survive the storms in our lives. I am sure that had I not relied on God when my both my parents died I would have been devastated. With God I have been at peace with it. I was not saved when I lost my child and my sister. Looking back, I am sure Gods hand was on me through prayers of others. Your faitfulness is admirable. Have a blessed year!

    1. Well, I could say the same about you Becky! I'm so grateful to know and trust Him, and I'm so glad you do too!
      May blessings abound for you and yours this year!