I had just left the hospital after being there with dad all day. He had a surgery that didn't go well, in fact, it did nothing but weaken him further and reveal more problems. Before the surgery there was hope - after there was none. The cancer that we thought was isolated in his liver had moved into his stomach and intestines. They were both shutting down. I don't remember much of what happened after we talked to the doctor. There was a lot of crying. I didn't. I was numb. The rest of the night at the hospital is kind of hazy. I don't remember getting in my truck to drive home, but I remember my phone ringing. It was late and I was driving, but I figured talking to someone would be a good distraction. It was Claire. "How's he doing?" It was a question I had heard countless times in the preceding several months but something about the way she asked it moved me. My mind flashed back over my friendship with Claire and I knew it was safe. I could tell her. "He's dying, Claire." It was the first time I admitted it to myself, and for the first time since dad got sick I cried. In my truck on Alcoa highway in the middle of the night a call from a dear friend allowed me to begin to deal emotionally with losing my father. When I got home several of my best friends were already at my house. It wasn't unusual. They did that a lot. I'm not sure what I would have done if they hadn't been there. God uses that night to show me that he has surrounded me with community. That he does provide. That he is there when you need him. It boggles my mind that he points to that night.
"He's dying, Claire." I felt it happen. I know that was the moment. As those words left my mouth I quit believing God is good. The truth of those words was more powerful than anything I had learned in Sunday School. My faith failed - my world darkened - night fell.