When you go through a loss many people ask if they can do anything. When people ask this I often am thinking in my head, “If only you can bring back my baby”. There just is nothing to actually do to make it better. The greatest gift is always the people who just “show up”. They remember you a week later and text you a special verse. They sit with you and ask questions about your loss or how you are doing. They reach deep into the bottom of their purse to find you a Kleenex and you realize there are tears in their eyes too. One of my favorite cards over these last weeks was from a dear friend here. One of the things she said was, “I don’t know what to say…the whole thing sucks beyond belief”. Yep, that about sums it up. A pastor even told me he was a little ticked about it all. It gave me permission to go through those feelings too and to move past them. You can’t fight a rip current…you have to swim through it…let it take you down stream before it releases you. Grief is like a rip current. It grabs you when you least expect it and takes all control away.
One thing people say when you go through loss is “God is in control” or “At least you know your baby is with the Lord”. I know all these things are true and I know people are just grasping for ways to soothe my soul. But frankly, they don’t help when you’re in the middle of the rip current. The best of things to do is to just be present…jump in and float down stream with me. All the truth’s from the God’s word are received much better after you have sat with me on the floor and grieved a little.
Bill and I have grown a lot in our ability to love each other through these times. We just know what the other needs. Bill has learned that I need to verbalize my frustrations about the Lord but that after a bit, he can remind me of the things I already know. It was a powerful thought to think about Christ on that cross…..or in the manger for that matter. God gave up HIS ONLY SON. He sent him away from the glory of heaven to be born of a woman. After being pregnant, you just feel for poor Mary riding on that donkey as she Is about to give birth.
Jesus, GODS ONLY SON, spent his first night in a feeding trough. God, the Father knew he was sending HIS ONLY SON TO DIE and still he did it.
God knows grief.
A million moments, come running through my head in a fresh way thinking about Jesus growing up on this earth so far from his Father. And then there’s his death. God knows what it’s like to lose a child…but he offered him willingly.
For the redemption of mankind, God watched his ONLY SON be accused, betrayed, rejected, beaten and die on a cross.
God knows loss.
He didn’t stop it…he watched as the sin of the world lay on Christ’s shoulders and God the Father turned his back ON HIS ONE AND ONLY.
God knows what it’s like to lose a child.
We don’t know if he was separated from Christ for a moment or for the full three days but we do know it had to be agony.
God knows grief, sadness, loss and his only Son knows it too.
This same God lives within me. He sees the empty crib in the special room in our home. He sees the empty void in our hearts and yet he “shows up” and reminds me…the crib is empty but the manger isn’t.