During the years when Rev. Coffin was senior minister of Riverside Church in New York City, his son Alex was killed in a tragic car accident. Alex was driving in a terrible storm; he lost control of his car and careened into the waters of Boston Harbor. The following Sunday, Dr. Coffin preached about his son's death. He thanked all the people for their messages of condolence, for food brought to their home, for an arm around his shoulder when no words would do. But he also raged; he raged about well-meaning folks who had hinted that Alex's death was God's will. "I knew the anger would do me good," he said.
Then he went on: "Do you think it was God's will that Alex never fixed that lousy windshield wiper ... that he was probably driving too fast in such a storm, that he probably had a couple of beers too many? Do you think it was God's will that there are no street lights along that stretch of the road and no guard rail separating the road and Boston Harbor? The one thing that should never be said when someone dies is, 'It is the will of God.' Never do we know enough to say that. My own consolation lies in knowing that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God's heart was the first of all our hearts to break."
And, this is how I comforted myself on a lighter level:
Last night for dinner, A made his incredibly delicious chicken pesto pizza. I got R all excited about it (we haven't had it since he's been eating solid foods) by telling him we were having "green pizza." He was thrilled by that, and he actually ate quite a bit of it (except for the chicken). So, thank you to A for indulging my craving for it - it was delicious!
When my boys picked me up tonight at the T station, they surprised me with these beautiful roses. R picked them out himself!
Tonight was A's night out, so R and I hung out, made dinner, and then had an impromptu jam session in the living room. R asked me to put on one of his kids' music CDs, and then he demanded to know where his drum sticks and "drums" were.
Later, we listened to Toots and the Maytals. R insisted that I play the drums, while he played a shaker and did some funky dancing. It was great.
Finally, yesterday, we had some "tree guys" come and do a lot of work in our yard: they shaped the overgrown maple trees that were about to take over our house, they ripped out two huge bushes in front of our house, and they shaped and trimmed our crazily overgrown hedges. The woman that owned our house before us never did anything to the yard, so it's been an uphill struggle for us to make it look somewhat respectable.
I'm so excited about the difference! Our house looks so much bigger, and now the sunlight actually makes it through to our front yard. Inside the house, our living room is much brighter because the big window isn't half blocked by a giant bush. I can't wait to start doing some planting...