Quotes from Lament for a Son

Nicholas Wolterstorff ·  111 pages

Rating: (1.1K votes)


“And what of regrets? I shall live with them. I shall accept my regrets as part of my life, to be numbered among my self-inflicted wounds. But I will not endlessly gaze at them. I shall allow the memories to prod me into doing better with those still living. And I shall allow them to sharpen the vision and intensify the hope for that Great Day coming when we can all throw ourselves into each other's arms and say, "I'm sorry.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“But we all suffer. For we all prize and love; and in this present existence of ours, prizing and loving yield suffering. Love in our world is suffering love. Some do not suffer much, though, for they do not love much. Suffering is for the loving. This, said Jesus, is the command of the Holy One: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." In commanding us to love, God invites us to suffer.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“God is not only the God of the sufferers but the God who suffers. ... It is said of God that no one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one could see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps it meant that no one could see his sorrow and live. Or perhaps his sorrow is splendor. ... Instead of explaining our suffering God shares it.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“Faith is a footbridge that you don't know will hold you up over the chasm until you're forced to walk out onto it.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“How is faith to endure, O God, when you allow all this scraping and tearing on us? You have allowed rivers of blood to flow, mountains of suffering to pile up, sobs to become humanity's song--all without lifting a finger that we could see. You have allowed bonds of love beyond number to be painfully snapped. If you have not abandoned us, explain yourself.

We strain to hear. But instead of hearing an answer we catch sight of God himself scraped and torn. Through our tears we see the tears of God.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son



“THE TEARS ... streamed down, and I let them flow as freely as they would, making of them a pillow for my heart. On them it rested."
-AUGUSTINE,
Confessions IX, i z”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“IT’S THE neverness that is so painful. Never again to be here with us—never to sit with us at table, never to travel with us, never to laugh with us, never to cry with us, never to embrace us as he leaves for school, never to see his brothers and sister marry. All the rest of our lives we must live without him. Only our death can stop the pain of his death. A month, a year, five years—with that I could live. But not this forever. I step outdoors into the moist moldly fragrance of an early summer morning and arm in arm with my enjoyment comes the realization that never again will he smell this. As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so he who goes down to the grave does not return, He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more. JOB 7:9-10 One small misstep and now this endless neverness.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“But the pain of the no more outweighs the gratitude of the once was. Will it always be so? I didn’t know how much I loved him until he was gone. Is love like that?”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“IT’S so WRONG, so profoundly wrong, for a child to die before its parents. It’s hard enough to bury our parents. But that we expect. Our parents belong to our past, our children belong to our future. We do not visualize our future without them. How can I bury my son, my future, one of the next in line? He was meant to bury me!”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“A friend said, “Remember, he’s in good hands.” I was deeply moved. But that reality does not put Eric back in my hands now. That’s my grief. For that grief, what consolation can there be other than having him back?”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son



“When death is no longer seen as release from this miserable materiality into our rightful immateriality, when death is seen rather as the slicing off of what God declared to be, and what all of us feel to be, of great worth, then death is—well, not friend but enemy. Though I shall indeed recall that death is being overcome, my grief is that death still stalks this world and one day knifed down my Eric. Nothing fills the void of his absence. He’s not replaceable. We can’t go out and get another just like him.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


“Don’t say it’s not really so bad. Because it is. Death is awful, demonic. If you think your task as comforter is to tell me that really, all things considered, it’s not so bad, you do not sit with me in my grief but place yourself off in the distance away from me. Over there, you are of no help.”
― Nicholas Wolterstorff, quote from Lament for a Son


About the author

Nicholas Wolterstorff
Born place: in Bigelow, Minnesota , The United States
Born date January 21, 1932
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“So what he supposed to do? Grab Bobbie's ax and make like Jack Nicholson in The Shinning? He could see it. Smash, crash, bash: Heeeeeeere's GARDENER!”
― Stephen King, quote from The Tommyknockers


“The noblest of ideas have always been protected by warriors.”
― Tom Clancy, quote from The Sum of All Fears


“The primary cause of death was listed as cryptococcal pneumonia, which was a consequence of his Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Those, however, were only the obvious diseases. The KS lesions, it turned out, covered not only his skin but also his lungs, bronchi, spleen, bladder, lymph nodes, mouth, and adrenal glands. His eyes were infected not only with cytomegalovirus but also with Cryptococcus and the Pneumocystis protozoa. It was the first time the pathologist could recall seeing the protozoa infect a person’s eye. Ken’s mother claimed his body from the hospital the day after he died. By the afternoon, Ken’s remains were cremated and tucked into a small urn. His Kaposi’s sarcoma had led to the discovery in San Francisco of the epidemic that would later be called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. He had been the first KS case in the country reported to a disbelieving Centers for Disease Control just eight months before. Now, he was one of eighteen such stricken people in San Francisco and the fourth man in the city to die in the epidemic, the seventy-fourth to die in the United States. There would be many, many more.”
― Randy Shilts, quote from And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic


“So poorly did you know yourself that you were always surprised at how you looked in photographs or how you sounded on voice mail. In this way, much of your existence took place in the eyes, ears, and fingertips of others. And now that you’ve left the Earth, you are stored in scattered heads around the globe. Here in this Purgatory, all the people with whom you’ve ever come in contact are gathered. The scattered bits of you are collected, pooled, and unified. The mirrors are held up in front of you. Without the benefit of filtration, you see yourself clearly for the first time. And that is what finally kills you.”
― David Eagleman, quote from Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives


“When they say "my heart skipped a beat," they're full of crap. Really, what they mean is, your heart sort of stutters and thinks about stopping for a second before it remembers that beating is good for it.”
― Maggie Stiefvater, quote from Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie


Interesting books

The Law
(8.5K)
The Law
by Frédéric Bastiat
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
(93.8K)
Good to Great: Why S...
by James C. Collins
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams
(45.3K)
The Seven Spiritual...
by Deepak Chopra
Blade of Tyshalle
(3.9K)
Blade of Tyshalle
by Matthew Woodring Stover
Four Quartets
(12.1K)
Four Quartets
by T.S. Eliot
The Heretic's Daughter
(29.3K)
The Heretic's Daught...
by Kathleen Kent

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.