“Death has picked him out, not love. Death has made him special”

Was he special? Did I love him more—more than his sister and brothers? When they see my tears, do they think I loved him more?

I visualize the appallingly cruel choice with which Hitler’s henchmen faced Jewish parents: select one of your children for salvation or let all perish. What would I have done? If a parent loved one of her children more, she would pick that one–or would she avoid picking that one, out of blended love and guilt?

I think I would have been immobilized. I love them equally though differently. None is special; or rather, each is special. Each has an inscape in which I delight. I celebrate them all and love them each.

Death has picked him out, not love. Death has made him special. He is special in my grieving. When I give thanks, I mention all five; when I lament, I mention only him. Wounded love is special love, special in its wound. Now I think of him every day; before, I did not. Of the five, only he has a grave.

Nicholas Wolterstorff

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