I like M. Night Shyamalan movies. My favorite among them is Signs. Do you know it? It’s about a family, an invasion of dangerous aliens and about grief, loss of faith, and hope restored. I love this movie, largely because there is nothing random, there are no loose ends. Absolutely everything in the movie is important and ties back into events that end with good triumphing over evil. The dad is a pastor or priest who is having a crisis of faith because of the death of his wife (Do you know anyone who is or was going through a crisis of faith because of a death?). He has 2 kids and a brother who are depending on him. Strange events start happening, like crop circles and weird sounds. Then the family becomes aware of creatures – unfriendly, alien creatures. Meanwhile the dad keeps having flashbacks of his wife’s last moments after she was badly injured in a horrific car crash. She mentions each child and the brother with a sort of message for each.
As it turns out, each of her messages is exactly what each member of the family needs to do to triumph over the aliens. Each one must play their part to defeat the foe, because no one technique is enough in itself. The daughter’s fascination with water, the brother’s trophy bat from his best years as a minor league baseball player, the son’s asthma all are critical pieces. There is not one element, theme or image in the movie that’s not all tied up together in the end. Even the bedroom curtains have a circle design, reminiscent of the crop circles. Nothing is without purpose or wasted. In the end, when the dad – remember his crisis of faith? - sees how all the parts fit together, he comes back to faith and ministry.
I think that’s the way it is with our God and His working in our lives. Even with your child’s death. There is nothing about it that’s not purposeful. Nothing wasted. All your sorrows have meaning. I have a friend who had a loss a year ago – that anniversary is next week. Over the holidays he voiced some of his questions and anger with God in front of his family (some of whom do not believe in Jesus). He thinks he blew any opportunity he might have to speak as an ambassador for Christ. I think nothing is wasted in God’s kingdom. That moment of honest doubt and emotion will increase rather than decrease the validity of his testimony, in time, of God’s faithfulness.
God has His purposes for all the details of your story too. He put people in your path who helped you in various ways. He is also putting you in the path of others who need you because of the exact details of your story to minister to them. God is creating a web of people and stories and meaning and helping that only He sees completely. We can see a few signs along the way. I see some of those signs that His plans are moving forward purposely to the ultimate triumph over evil – resurrection. It reminds me of the following:
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. I Corinthians 13:12