• Steve McAtee

Are there songs to sing when the lights grow dim?

Updated: Oct 19, 2020






Now confirmed after an intense 13-month search for my son, Jack is dead. Taking stock as I hang up the phone, I’m unable to cry, unable to talk, and barley responsive to the caller’s words, which sounded so very foreign, words incapable of interpretation.


It’s all I can do to cope with the helplessness and pain as I go numb. As an exhaustive search for our son Jack comes to a shattering end, the feelings are intense, never to be forgotten. The blood rushes to my head, rendering me incapable of tears, introducing the onslaught of trauma. Feeling like a prisoner with a heart as a window into darkness, a faint light in the distance is beyond grasp as it grows dimmer and dimmer and dimmer… alone, in disbelief. I’m in a very dark place, a pitch-black cave of sorrow.


My identity, One Who Lost a Son, was given birth. The echoing haunts… yelling that there is nobody now who saw what Jack saw, knows what he knew, remembers what he remembered, loves what he loved. This dearly loved irreplaceable person is now gone. Pitch black sadness creeps at the door. Bitterly, I weep at night, tears upon my cheeks, with none to comfort me, overtaken by evil, in bitter anguish.


What happened to that light of hope our family held onto throughout the thirteen month search? Gone. Even the faintest spec was overshadowed black. Prayers… all the prayers I thought had rendered me naught. In the midst of distress, I’m taken over by evil. The enemy had laid his hands on my greatest treasure. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me?


Like a piece of red-hot iron on the anvil, I lay in my bed that night. As I drifted off to sleep late in the early morning hours after producing a chasm of tears, my mind’s eye saw a smith standing there. He was surveying the tools on his work bench. Without hesitation, he stoked up the forge and picked up the hammer. He gazed at me with blazing-white eyes, a determined look on his smiling face. Then, I heard a faint, audible melody of hope. It was peaceful. My eyes opened to realize it was Jesus knocking at my door. - a man of sorrows and acquainted with my grief. Dim light turned into bright perfect peace, faint melodies morphed into a spectacular symphony singing me a song of love and peace, letting me know I am not alone. Such was the beginning of the greatest chapter of my life. Now, after all these years since that night, I can say that there are indeed songs to sing even when the lights grow dim.



LAMENTATIONS 1:2; ISAIAH 40:31

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