|Our candle, lit for the precious babies of our friends.|
Today was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
I'm at a loss for how to express in words all of the thoughts in my heart about infant loss. I think what I want to say though is that nothing has affected (or grown) my faith in God as much as coming to grips with knowing that babies can die. That dear, God-fearing families can lose someone so tiny, so precious. It's nearly impossible to understand why something so horrible can happen.
A few times I've read a blog called Bring the Rain, by Angie Smith. Angie is the wife Todd Smith, who is in the Christian band Selah. Angie and her husband lost their third daughter shortly after her birth to developmental complications during pregnancy. They learned about their little girl's illnesses pretty early in the pregnancy. The moment after the doctor relayed all of the information about their daughter's diagnosis, he asked Angie what she was thinking. Angie says that she looked at the doctor and said, "I think that my Jesus is the same as He was before I walked into this room."
I carry that response in my heart daily. I will never forget it. My dear friends had the same response when they were faced with a similar diagnosis with their sweet Isaac, and both of these babies' short and precious lives continue to impact the lives of so, so many.
I don't know why this kind of heartbreak happens. I don't know why some families don't get to keep their babies. I don't know why other families do. I don't pretend to even begin to fathom what this kind of loss feels like for a mother. But I think I know now, through the witness of my friends and through my own life experiences, that no matter what, God is good. He always has been good. He always will be good. And he promises to make all things new.
There's a scene in Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ where Jesus, blood-covered from being beaten and carrying his own cross to his death, looks at his mother Mary and says, "Look, mother, I am making all things new." I think what speaks so much to my heart about that scene is that it's a reminder that Jesus was God and someone's child at the same time. It's a reminder that while Jesus' death was tearing his earthly family's hearts to pieces, not to mention breaking God the Father's own heart, that this ultimate act of sacrifice was full of love and purpose. It's an artistic scene not recorded in any of the gospel accounts of Jesus' death, but a line taken from Revelation 21:
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
God is good. He loves us. He has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. He draws us to him and he loves each and every one of us with an everlasting love.
One of my favorite musical artists, JJ Heller, wrote a beautiful song called "Your Hands." The lyrics to that song echo my heart and where I turn for truth when the world just doesn't make sense.