Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When One of Our Children Die

   The grief of a parent is unlike anything else in this world. When a child is taken suddenly, violently, it is deeper than any knife wound could make. Today I held an earthquake of emotion in my arms while muttering stupid, inane and completely useless words. Words that cannot erase the waste of a life not lived, the piece of heart and soul of the mother in my arms. I could not say the only words that could comfort her, to assuage her pain, the only words that could give her hope. Because I do not know where this young man, a child that I knew from age 3, the best friend of my own beloved son until age 13, when choices had to be made. Choices like, how far would I allow the influence of a child whose family did not believe in the path that I had been so graciously led to by a loving Savior. How can I comfort a woman whose eyes desperately seek mine for what she knows my son has, what he wanted for his best of all friends, the one he loved, his favorite playmate and confidant? I saw in her eyes, the desire for me to speak words that would bind her wounds, enough to stop the hemorrhaging of pain that her heart was killing her mind and body with, words that would ultimately bring healing but I could not. And then I left her, in the world that she inhabited, with friends not sending cakes and casseroles, but coolers of beer. A world that I had left 14 years ago and took my son from her son.

  Now here I am, looking for photographs, ones that chronicled the life that her child had with mine, the memories that these bring also bring a deep sense of shame and guilt. Did I abandon her? Did we, out of self righteousness walk away from her? Was the reason, I distanced myself from her and her family, who ultimately broke apart in divorce and crumbled under her own addiction to substances, although legal, and doctor approved, torn a rent in her family that took years to repair. Years that we were not part of, ones where our lives were lived in the rarified world of church gathering and homeschool group  fellowship. Where I believed I was safe, my son was safe from the evil influences of the unsaved and unrepentant. Where I discovered to my deep dismay and heartbreak, a professing mouth does not prove a repentant life. Carnality and sin are in every group, and sometimes it is as evil as the rebellious sinner who riotously revels in his despotism.

  With every photo I find, I realize that the God who knows me, who loves my son much more than I could ever fathom, grieved so much for His creation that He did what I longed to do for this mother today, take her pain, but God did so much more. While I am willing to take my friends pain and suffer for her, even though the years separated us at my instigation, I draw the proverbial line at substituting my son for hers. To give my son to Death, for the life of her son and assuaging of her grief. But this is exactly what my God did for me. He assuaged my grief, with the hope that my son, who is saved, who did persevere, even through the tangles and briars of every group we fellowshipped with, be it the Brethren or the wicked, God delivered my son for Himself that I will never grieve like this mother that I held today. And although, I cannot for sure know the last moments of the child who grew to age 21 and then his days, who are numbered from Creation, whose soul is intimately known to God from the beginning of time, who this day did not catch the Creator of all things by surprise, were ended by a gunshot while saving 2 young girls from the pistol of a robber. I do not know what happened between this child and God in those last breaths, I will pray that God had mercy on His soul and brought this boy to remembrance of what he learned sitting by my son, in the pews of the church where God's grace and mercy were preached, where he went to children's camp and the gospel was preached to him at a young age, although separated from us, I will pray, that He was not seperated from God in those last moments. Because I have what the world has not, and that is hope.