Monthly Archives: January 2013

15 posts

Capturing Mack

It is so odd how we count time. If we go by weeks, then it was four weeks ago this past Monday night that Mack died, December 31st. If we go by days on the calendar then today, January 31st, is the one month mark. Our friend and fellow Celtic parent David Rockower is an English teacher and also writes for a local paper. He shared this more personal reflection with me and suggested I […]

The snow is falling

Gently, light and fluffy, the snow is falling. It hasn’t been much, just an inch or two. Mack loved snow, loved to play in it, sled, dig into it building forts. He would have been out already, even as I write at 7 am. But he wouldn’t have liked this snow. He would have complained that it was too fluffy, not good for packing and building. Easy to shovel though. I have to be careful not […]

Quick Take: Job again

My wife asked my yesterday why I kept thinking and talking Job. It is because it is the locus classicus of human suffering and the demand for divine explanation. Today I wondered, “Are we cursed like Job?” Then I wondered, was he cursed or just human, experiencing life with all its loss and suffering. Cursed or Living?  

Are we impressed with the hippopotamus?

This past week my close friend and mentor recommended to me Charles Williams’ War in Heaven. Williams is the member of the “Inklings” that most of us forget about, but whom many consider to be the best theologian of the bunch. (I am on record as attributing that crown to Dorothy L. Sayers.) I am not terribly far into this “mystery-supernatural thriller” (as one blurb put it), but early on there is this exchange between […]

A word about this blog, grief, beauty and joy

I just want to reassure readers that while there will undoubtedly be more posts about my (and our, but I tend to let my wife speak for herself) experiences and thoughts grieving for the loss of our son, the blog Targuman will not become solely about theodicy. When I began this blog I decided not to make it focused upon anything other than my own interests. As a result there are times when I have […]

A Poor Analogy

But the best one I can think of to explain what life is like surviving, “living beyond,” the death of our son. It is a bit like being forced to wear a pair of painful, ill-fitting shoes. They hurt like hell and make you limp, wince, and cry, but you can’t take them off. The only way to ease the pain is to start walking, to break them in. Blisters form, then calluses, and the […]

Remembering Mack

My wife has shared some thoughts on Facebook, I have posted some pictures on the PhotoBlog, Christopher Long has this wonderful poem from Auden, and our incredible students have created a Day of Kindness in Mack’s honor. But I know which tribute would make Mack laugh, it is this cartoon by Chris Hallbeck, whose Biff comic inspired Mack’s toilet bowl costume this Halloween. Thank you Chris! Mack loved reading your strips every night and would […]

The Will of God

Death almost always brings with it the basic question of “why.” When it is young innocents as in the Sandy Hook attack or our son Mack, it becomes even more desperate. Even when those who are older who die for no clear moral reason we are at a loss for an answer and yet need to ask the question. Why did they die? What could possibly be the divine purpose in their lives being taken? […]

A short note: The Angry Faithful

As someone wondered if I was having a crisis of faith I was reminded of something that I have often mentioned in the class and in one or two articles, which is that expressing anger towards God is, in fact, a statement of faith. If I didn’t believe in God then with whom would I be angry? The fact that Job cried against God and called for an accounting was a fundamental act of faith. […]

How to lament

It has barely been over one week since our wonderful boy died. It was fast, sudden, and completely unexpected. It was not an accident or a prolonged illness, but rather a bacterial infection of the blood. We are thankful for the small grace that he was in very little pain and it was swift. But that is, as they say, cold comfort. We are riven with grief, disbelief, and the fundamental truth that we just […]