There is no grief like the grief that does not speak – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In response to the pandemic of painful torrent emotions unleashed by the national tragedy of loss instigated by the passing of family member and friends, God speaks through scripture:
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly… 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:1-2, 8 KJV)
Perhaps, God speaks to Isaiah because God wants to break the monotony in our dismal days of despair. Perhaps, God speaks to Isaiah because when confronted by crisis consternation creates crippling despondency.
Whether God speaks to comfort, cultivate understanding, or curate resolve, what we know from the biblical witness is that when Uzziah died, God was present in Isaiah’s life.
Good timing? Yes. By accident? No.
Seeing God in the midst of calamity is the reminder that the providential protection of God that provided for us yesterday can/will sustain us moving forward into new possibilities because God’s plan is at work in all situations because “We know that all things work together for good[a] for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
When tempted to look down, something causes Isaiah to look up.
Was it personal initiative? Maybe.
Divine providence? Maybe
Lucky timing? Maybe.’
However, when he looked up, Isaiah in the midst of grief beholds the majesty of God enthroned in glory.
Wise enough to recognize his imperfections the biblical witness calls “unclean lips,” – a recognition that – God responds to Isaiah’s penitent admission by purging his lips with a live coal from the fire so Isaiah’s imperfections will not stop him from answering the call being discussed in his presence among the heavenly beings in God’s court.
When God asks “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us,” the purified lips of Isaiah can now respond correctly in a way that uncleanliness could not permit.
Therefore, Isaiah’s declaration, “Here, am I; send me,” is the culmination of a process initiated by God that turns tragedy into triumphant.
Can you fathom that God might be using our current tragedies to stir up something within us so we too like Isaiah would tell God, “Yes”?
I do. Because we are called.