Living Life After Loss in Jerry Sittser's A Grace Disguised,

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A Grace Disguised: A reflection

Jerry Sittser's book, A Grace Disguised, was by far, among one of the best that I have ever read for those who are currently or have previously struggled with a great loss in their lives. He speaks from first-hand experience, the catastrophic accident that claimed three generations of his family instantly – his wife, mother, and daughter. Sittser essentially lost his everything right before his eyes within a matter of seconds. From his own experience of the pain and suffering that followed, he draws out a meaningful perspective which is applicable to the universal experience of human suffering. Without diminishing the pain and evil that suffering inevitably inflicts and represents, Sittser helps us make sense of that suffering within the context of the Christian faith proving that it has the potential to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and strengthening of character, just as it did for Jerry himself.

Throughout the book, Sittser essentially rejects the notion of “recovery” from catastrophic loss. He supports this idea with the fact that such a loss cannot be recovered from if that means that we will transition back to being the same as before, or presumably, carrying on with our normal day-to-day lives. More frankly, we will never get over such an event no matter the severity, no matter what coping strategies we attempt to implicate, and no matter the extent of the support system that we have, it is unfortunately just not that simple. Instead, looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, we must find some sort of meaning in suffering. Rather, if we are not allowing ourselves to be physically, emotionally, and psychologically crushed, we need to allow our souls to be enlarged by suc...

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...re is much more to life than what we want that maybe even exceeds our greatest desires. Also, that our ability to cope and learn from suffering allows us to help others in times of need when they may need someone to lean on. Suffering can be life-long, but it doesn’t have to be if we are willing to put our trust in God and have faith that he will guide the way through whatever obstacles life may throw at us. Life is an incredible, beautiful blessing of which, sometimes, we take for granted.

Bibliography

Karlson, Trudy and David Weber. "Recovering From Loss." Wisconsin Medical Society 102

(2003): 5.

Schimmel, Solomon. Wounds Not Healed By Time - The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness.

Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2002. (accessed February 6, 2014).

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