When faced with a tragic loss, I stand before twin choices. I can either resist the pain that comes with loss, or yield to it. There's no middle ground. While I've never lost a job or my sanity, I have lost my mother, my marriage, and most recently a friend who was closer to me than a brother. All three are tragic, life-defining losses. Crippling. But not debilitating.  In fact, the opposite.

With each loss there finally comes a strength within that rises in the vacuum. With each loss, I may have lost what I thought I could not live without, but I've never lost myself, never lost God.  Instead, the crippling is a severe mercy; the limping, a freedom.  Loss brings me nearer to that essential nothingness that is my truest self before God.

Loss is essentially cruciform.

Am I poorer now, or richer?  Am I less, or am I more?  Am I wounded, or am I free to simply be?

My heart still beats, my lungs still breathe.  And even if they ceased, the "I" that is beloved of God still lives.

And so . . .

I sit in silence on the edge that is the vast abyss of my nothingness

before God.

I linger there quite self-aware when suddenly He gives a nudge.


f a l l i n g

now . . .

groping, grasping, for anything.

There’s nothing but a glassy wall and howling silence as I fall.


f a l l i n g

but . . .

I’m losing what in falsity I thought myself to need and be

until there’s nothing left of me to sit and care if this is some odd tomb or blessed womb

of God

AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman