Parents have a hard time letting go.
The first day of school. The first sleepover. The first time handing over the car keys. Every parent fears what could happen to their precious children.
But they let them go.
And sometimes they don’t come back.
For the Calgary family who lost their twin sons after a bobsled thrill ride gone wrong, they are living out every parent’s nightmare. Consolation cannot satisfy the sorrow. Empathy can only be inadequate at best. Lamentation expresses, but cannot remove the sadness.
The Calgary family is well known in the Christian community. Some observers -- atheists and agnostics, yes, but even some Christians -- might ask:
If God is so good, why does He allow do such sad accidents to happen to those who believe?
But faith is not a magic potion that makes a person immune from calamity. A lesser example of this was when the 2013 flood hit the town of High River, my basement filled with water in the same way as my Muslim neighbour. My faith didn’t save me from difficulty. Nor did his.
As funerals take place and people reflect with tears, thoughts tend to turn philosophical. If God is God, how can such tragedy take place? The textbooks call it the problem of theodicy. But when parents lose their children, nobody wants a textbook answer.
Every parent has fears for their children. But from a Christian worldview, faith is more powerful than fear. And that faith is not conditioned on God keeping them from tragedy in this life. That makes God into nothing more than a genie in a bottle.
Christians believe that this life is not all there is. So faith in life beyond death gives people -- even parents of teenagers -- the strength to free their children.
Those Christian parents live with the hope of seeing their children again, even if they don’t come home one night from the ski trip or the trip to 7-11.
As the Caldwell family wrestles with the questions of why and the need to face each tomorrow without their sons, their worst fears have come to pass.
But their faith in a future reunion can offer joy in the midst of sorrow.