"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."
Starting sometime yesterday, a heartbreaking personal experience and this particular verse came to my remembrance.
This time in my own life is one I've often avoided revisiting and not (necessarily) a cherished memory I delight to dwell on. The thought itself has been motivation enough to find something "other" to fix my mind on, so I'd find something else to ponder. At times I couldn't busy my mind on some other issue fast enough to avoid an "arrow of sorrow" finding my heart once again.
Still, the memory and this verse came to mind first thing this morning. Waking up to the memory is not the way I'd prefer to start any day, but it persists.
But, it's more than that. With the thought there comes the "still, small voice" saying; "In the not too distant future, one of your readers will be where you were on that day. As I met with you on that day, I've chosen to meet with them as well and I choose to minister to them through you."
So, I don't know whom this is addressed to, of course, but He does and although I chafe at the thought that another will be forcefully thrown into an abyss of incomprehensible sorrow, as I was, still, for your sake, whoever you are, I write.
There's another article here for your consideration, entitled "Muir Creek-a rewrite," but it addresses what came after the day I have in mind just now.
There is that "one day" that came before the need to write "Muir Creek."
The day I stood beside my grieving wife and watched our son die in her arms.
Minutes after his spirit left his tiny body, the doctor and attending nurses took us to what they called "The Bonding Room."
This room was not to be used by any one for any other reason than for the parents to, as much as any one possibly could, form some type of bond with their dead son or daughter.
To me, it was more like a lavishly furnished tomb. Carpeted with rivers of tears. The walls held the weeping and the wails of distraught parents captive, heard once again by any who would need this room. The chairs were unusually sturdy, perhaps because the maker (The Maker?) knew those chairs would need to be strong enough to "hold the weight of the world" on the shoulders of Moms and Dads.
My bride, my friend, my son's mother held him close. Her tears washed his lifeless form the same way the mortician would wash a body in preparation for burial. She spoke to him of her eternal love and whispered those words, that not only does a mother long to say, but a son longs to hear. She needed to say them and she spoke of the life they would not have together as if she were making promises she fully intended to somehow keep.
As if the burden of my shattered heart were not enough already. Watching her with him, hearing her words to the son who couldn't hear her only added, not just the weight of our world, but also a universe of despair as well. Those of us who've been "there" can say with absolute certainty, there are no words to describe the horror of holding a dead child. There are no words to describe how it feels to hold YOUR dead child.
Although I was doing all I could to survive this "avalanche of sorrow," I knew it was of utmost importance that, in spite of it all, I minister to my wife, somehow, some way. But how? How in the world does a man do this, yet express his own sorrow too? I had the words of a father to share with my son. There were words I needed to say and though he couldn't hear me, still, I needed to say them to him.
The response to that need, the answer to a most horrible question was given, but it surely, undeniably, did not come through me.
In that room, there was another Father who'd also lost a Son. He knew exactly what we were thinking and feeling. He knew. He still does.
His answer to my soul-searching quest as to how to minister to my wife wasn't only for her though. He fully intended to minister to both of us. He took the burden I bore and made it His own.
She handed our baby boy to me.
I received him as if he was alive, but more than that, I took even more care in handling his tiny form. I didn't only treat him as if he were still alive. No, I cradled him as if my touch would, could, somehow, please dear God, breath life back into my son!
I tousled his hair as I washed his cheek with my tears. I told him of my love for him and I told him again, then again, then again. My grief was so enormous that the only one I could see was my son. Any thought of ministering to his mother was gone and I fell into a chasm of sorrow. I wasn't walking through the valley of the shadow of death; I was escorting my son through it.
Then, it happened. Heaven came to earth. The angels sent to minister to us were silent; the Father would handle this on His own. God said, "Let there be" and there was.
I took our son, Joshua Caleb Beers, and lifted him toward heaven, not as a sacrifice, but as an offering. The Author of our Faith Himself could only have authored what took place in my soul, in my heart of hearts.
I worshipped the Lord.
I proclaimed His love toward us. I announced His faithfulness, even in this. I declared His mercy to the angels, to my wife and to myself. God Himself talked to me, through me.
It was natural to grieve, understandably so. But, it was supernatural to worship. I'd meant to minister to my wife, even if that meant my grief were to be banished to a dungeon of despair without remedy. But I couldn't, the sorrow was blinding and as I said, I saw only my son.
But, God took it upon Himself to do what only He can do. He ministered to all.
I worshipped the Lord, and for many reasons, but most of all because He'd assured me that, just minutes ago, He had chosen our son as His own and had taken him home. Home! He's home!
My son is alive!
"Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints."
Yes, I still miss my boy. Yes, I still bear the scars of his death. Yes, I still cry for him at times. Yes, I still wonder "what if?" Yes, I still ache to play catch with him. Yes, I still feel the sting of death as I picture the refrigerator covered in his artwork, but it's bare.
How is that precious?
It's precious in many ways. I miss him, of course I do. But
What I don't miss are the days of sin. What?
I haven't had to worry for all these years if our son would get involved in drugs. I haven't had the anxiety of a teen pregnancy with an unwed mother. I haven't had to worry that he'd become a cultist or a Satanist. I haven't had to worry that he'd make choices that were so destructive that he'd end up on death row, or worse, in hell. I have never had to worry that I'd never see him again. I will.
His death, though unspeakably painful for his mother and I is precious, because he can never be lost again.
He's with the Father and this father looks forward to the day, when I'll not just see my Father and His Son, but this father will get to see his son too!
Precious? Yes. In the same way a pearl is precious, but the oyster has to die for you to have it.
p.s.; For obvious reasons, I DO NOT WANT a critique on this. But, should you find yourself is "this place" and this letter (this isn't an article) was written for you, I'd love to hear from you.
Write to me at: rebuild_NO@yahoo.com or leave your e-mail address in the comments here and I'll write to you. I don't have Messenger here at FW.
Just a guy who would love to make a living as a writer. Why? I wake up, I think about writing, I lay down, I dream of writing. I just love to write.