“But we all suffer. For we all prize and love; and in this present existence of ours, prizing and loving yield suffering. Love in our world is suffering love. Some do not suffer much, though, for they do not love much. Suffering is for the loving. This, said Jesus, is the command of the Holy One: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." In commanding us to love, God invites us to suffer.”
-Lament for a Son
Nicholas Wolterstorff received the phone call every parent fears. "Mr. Wolterstorff I must give you some bad new..." At 25 years old, Nicholas’s son Eric had died in a mountain climbing accident. Wolterstorff poetic recounting of the grief, loss, love, regret, thankfulness, and faith in the aftermath of his sons death is an emotional and vivid look into a parents worst nightmare. Lament for a son is comprised of a collection of thoughts and recollections about his son life and death. Its a honest look at a man's heart during one of the hardest moments of his life. During times of tragedy some people experience their grief by remaining quiet, Mr. Wolterstorff needed to speak. Lament for a Son is the result of his speaking.
What I liked about this book was that Wolterstorff does not try to answer all the questions his sons death poses. Some questions are answered, others are partially or unsatisfactorily answered, and some are just contemplated and left hanging in limbo. This seems right. Who could come to a definitive conclusions on every questions that arises from such tragedy? And does the answer always provide the solution one is looking for? Maybe there is goodness in the lament, the cry of sorrow and grief. Wolterstorff captures this beautifully when he says:
“Rather often I am asked whether the grief remains as intense as when I wrote. The answer is, No. The wound is no longer raw. But it has not disappeared. That is as it should be. If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over. Grief is existential testimony to the worth of the one loved. That worth abides. So I own my grief. I do not try to put it behind me, to get over it, to forget it… Every lament is a love-song.”
If you are looking for a book that is going to take you step-by-step on how to deal with grief this book is not the right book for you. Instead, if you would like to sit and experience a fathers grief, hear his pain, see a man work through tragedy and understand how his faith underpins his journey; then this is the book for you.
Every lament is a love-song
Click to set custom HTML
I love everything about books. The feel of the page between your fingers, the sound of a book spine cracking, even the smell of an old dust jacket. Looking to share that passion with others.