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 for, esp. 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 suffering; motivated by compassion
severe |səˈvi(ə)r|adjective(of something bad or undesirable) very great; intense • 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!