The simple wooden coffin was placed carefully in the back of the MAF plane behind the passengers.
It was over for the 30-something-year-old man. He was going home to his village after he'd already gone to a new place, hopefully a much better one.
My husband, Brad, was his pilot. He does these funeral flights occasionally, which is always too often. The way the story usually goes is the sick person leaves his small village for a bigger city, his fever or tumor or blood-filled cough clinging to him, as he and his loved ones cling to hope.
And we all hope and pray that a life will be saved. That the story becomes one of rejoicing all around.
But then the sad ending nobody wants. Death. Away from home. After thousands of dollars’ worth of medical care and plane gas money spent. After thousands of prayers were begged in tear-soaked faith.
And I can’t help but ask, “Why?” Why not the happy ending? Why did the young man or mother or child have to die when we all believed in the miracle that never came?
Why did the husband never return, his children forever abandoned, his wife broken hearted by shattered promises?
Why did the womb never open to the life wanted by a mother who will never be one?
Even after watching hardship after tragedy after loss unfold through the years on this side of the world and back home, I’m still a sucker for the lost causes. The ones that probably won’t end well. The ones that need miracles for change to happen. The ones that require the Supernatural to bend to the will of the mortal.
Sometimes the lost causes win. Prayers are answered with YES. Reconciliation happens. Families are healed. Forgiveness erases evil. And life cheats inevitable death…at least for now.
But as my meager faith grows, it’s not these slim hopes of winning that make me put my heart into the lost causes.
I love seeing the things gained even in the loss. The community that comes around the mourning. The money collected from nearly empty pockets to pay for the slim chance of healing. The strength grown in the weakest body. The faith sprouted when doubt is simply more realistic. The forgiveness that is chosen even when the hurt has never been repented.
And most of all, I yearn to see the love raised from the dead.