When there are no Words

It was around lunchtime when my mom came out into the backyard where we were playing, in southern Florida. “Kids!” she called as she dragged out our black radio and put it onto a chair. We gathered around as she excitedly explained that today, we would see something very rare. We would see something not a lot of people had seen or ever would see. A space rocket was launching today! “The first teacher ever to go into outer space is on board too!” Mom said as she turned the radio up. She pointed over the swamps of our backyard towards Cape Canaveral. “Listen!” she said. “The countdown is starting!” We jumped around impatiently and I could hardly contain my excitement as the countdown began. “10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1!” We heard cheering and clapping from the radio and then we all saw as the space shuttle took off with a mighty plume of smoke. It rose swiftly, and then while we stared, there was an sudden burst of fire and then the space shuttle was engulfed in smoke and flames. And then- in an instant- it was gone. Debris still fell furiously from the sky, but the rocket was gone. I was confused and shocked. I looked towards the now silent radio for the answer. A shaken announcer finally said that the Challenger was lost. What should have been a victorious day for mankind had ended abruptly in tragedy.

I will always remember this event, and I will always remember the awful silence after the explosion. Sometimes there are no words-sometimes there can be no words-in the face of horrific tragedy and pain.

I thought about this story when I read this verse.

” Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. ” (Romans 8:26)
When we are at our weakest-He helps us. When we do not even know what to pray-or even how we should pray-He intercedes for us. He takes our pain and puts it into sound which is far ‘deeper than words.’ Why does He do this for us? Because He loves us.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Further reading:
Psalms 94:17; Revelation 8:1


sky painting


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