The unimaginable. There are no answers to be found so I write. I lament through the written word. I question. I cry out. I ponder. I answer my own question with the knowledge that an answer isn’t enough.
An answer doesn’t matter. Doesn’t change, or rearrange, or re-do, or fix.
God is the answer. His love is the answer.
He is the joy. He is the pain. There is nothing else. No one else.
When we cry out for mercy, he lifts us up.
He carries us.
We are held.
In this time between times.
This moment where only our imagination can take us to the place where tears are deprived of their reasons for existence. The place where immeasurable joy is a reality, instead of an yet unrealized state.
A place where babies never die.
A longed for place.
It is a Kronos moment pregnant with the pain of a life in this world.
What I feel is only a token of empathy for others in comparison to a suffering savior. An inner knowing of the darkness we share in this fellowship of suffering. The suffering that God feels a gazillion times more deeply, harshly, and ripping.
Yet, it is part of this existence he created. An existence that doesn’t make any sense as we embrace the groaning of creation longing for restoration and redemption.
The baby boy left this time between times to be with Jesus in the eternal. While his parents thought he safely slept he was carried into eternity – into the arms of Jesus.
But even Jesus lived until he was an adult. The death of a child defies human logic. It is quite simply unfair. It is a great struggle – and a compelling reason to step into that sacred place of
It is a great struggle – and the compelling reason I step into that sacred place of suffering when God enables me. I know the way out of our darkness. Companionship in suffering – even for a moment – brings life. Brings hope.
A glimpse of the eternity where children play amidst the heroes of old.
The place where Jesus brings sets them forever in his midst – not just for a moment, but for all the yesterdays, flowing into rivers of now and before and forever, and ever, and ever.
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 1:1-3).
Baby Boaz is in the midst being held by Jesus. He is in the “better place.” But those who love him are not. They have a lifetime to wait in this time between times. In this place. They have been baptized by fire into the pain of childlike trust. There is no other kind trust on the hollowed ground of suffering.
Only Abba, Papa, hold me. Jesus, help me. Spirit keep me.
Please remember that when you are tempted to step away from grieving. When days turn to months and months to years and you think, “Surely they are over it.” You never get over it. It is never back to normal. You learn to live again, to breathe in moments of joy and pain – in this, they call a new normal.
It is certainly new – but never normal.
You heal, and heal some more, and heal some more until the pain is more bearable as all things begin to be “worked out for good.”
But things are not “good now.” The hole where a child lives is never filled. Children are not objects that can be replaced with another child. Parents learn to live in Kairos time – God’s time – moments of the now and not yet combined with the reality of our children who live in God’s eternal time. We see glimpses of it and learn to live there…
…in Kairos – God’s time.
Moments of the now and not yet combined with the reality of our children loved in God’s eternal now. We find love, laughter, and hope in those kairos moments of shared eternal reality.
We breathe. We mourn. We laugh. We love.
We are held.
Things you never say to grieving parents:
*You can have another child.”
*God must have wanted an angel with them.” Or any other God must have…
NEVER say anything that starts with “At least…”
*At least you can have more children. At least he was only three months old. At least she wasn’t six. At least you have other children. At least you won’t have to put up with unruly teen years. At least they didn’t suffer.
*”All things work together for good.” (it doesn’t feel good right now)
*Do not quote scripture – if they are disciples they most likely know them and if they are not, there is no better way to turn them away from the faith.
What you can say – and please Call the child by NAME.
*This is beyond words.
*I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I’m here for you.
*I am so sorry.
*I don’t know what to say. My heart breaks for you.
*Tell me about ___. Do you have a picture?
*We want to talk about our children – they may be dead but they are never gone from our hearts.