This is the second time in seven days we've been notified by numb, sterile words in cyberspace that a life like yours ended before you entered our world; and that your family missed you terribly.
And we are numb now. Shock and grief and ignorance blind us to comprehending the tragedy. Even if we can make out a hazy picture, we can’t imagine the searing pain, the potent shock, the monstrous sorrow. How can we, unless we experienced it? And who would want to?
You never breathed our air or felt our skin or tasted our food, but you’re living fuller than we ever have. We know God Himself embraced you when you entered His heaven. He kissed your perfect cheek and whispered in your warm ear that He loved you. All our love here is only and echo of His bigger love.
You’re meeting all the little ones who’ve gone before you . . . the 11-week old boy last week, the girl two years ago, my four siblings. They were all smaller than you, but I suppose you don’t measure by size in heaven, do you? So it doesn’t matter how much or little you weigh now.
Little Baby, this grief rips lock and key and bar off our hearts, incinerates every containment device, every shield, and lays us bare. If you only knew how scared and shivering we feel in this burning cold, how exposed and utterly undone . . . you would pity us. Or would you?
We stand helpless. We cannot change this, cannot avert it, cannot fix it. And we hate that, because we want to know, want to help, want to control. This sorrow unearths our souls, and shows us that we are made of dust.
This pain sears and melts our icy sculptures, and reveals that we really are just a vapour.
And Little Baby, we don’t have words. How can we?
The mother in Bethlehem, she didn’t have words either. She was told how much it would hurt to see her Son die, but how could she know, what could she say? She could not have known.
This Son, He died, and no one understood why. He felt pain like you never will.
And His Father, well, He watched Him die. He knew how much it would hurt.
And the only reason we are not destroyed by grief is because this God is our God. How could we go on unless we knew that the One Who is in charge of life knows how much death hurts?
The only way we can go on is because God is the only One Who understands our isolated grief, and can do something good with it.
And the only reason you don’t need to pity us, is because, while we are pathetic—saying the wrong things and standing by stupidly and being so very human—we are not pitiable, because our God gives us resurrection life, and rescues us to know His love, and enables us to whisper “Yes” to Him in our grief.
Little One, though you never knew our love in this world, you already know His love in perfect wholeness. Though you never spoke a word, your life tells us the truth about ourselves, and about God.
It is a gift, and we say “thank You” to God.
And I can hardly wait to meet you, in heaven.