Photo courtesy of Ethan Parrott of SC.
I started this post over a week ago, thinking I would give a more detailed report of the last week.
I have found that I can’t give it much thought at this time.
Our Christmas season has had some unexpected turns.
The short version is this. My wife and I were expecting our second child. At just over 19 weeks we went to the ultrasound which was to determine the gender of the baby.
We received news at that time, that our child was already in Heaven. Not that our doctor thought our child was in heaven – as he tried to comfort us with talk of bad luck and cosmic rays. His delusion – and I wasn’t in the frame of mind to set him straight. All I could say was "There is a God, and He is sovereign." Smart as he was, the doctor seemed clueless on those 2 points.
We spent the next 2 days at the hospital grieving and waiting for our child to be delivered. We were overwhelmed by the love and support from our church and other friends.
We chose to induce the delivery, so that we would be able to see our baby, and hold our baby. 1:25 am of the second day, Friday Dec. 12, she delivered a 10 oz 10.5” baby boy. We named him Ezekiel, which means “God Strengthens.” He most certainly has.
We arranged and held a funeral which was attended by many of our friends and family. His body now lies in a cemetery in Concord, CA. But, we know that he is actually more alive than ever in the presence of our Good God.
I have avoided the obvious question of “why.” I don’t know why. In the grand scheme of things, my experience is actually minor compared to the sorrow of so many. That doesn’t help me any though. The only thing that really helps, is the consolation, that someday I will meet and shake hands with the man that is my son. He will walk me through the gardens and mountains of a new home. He may even be the one to re-introduce me to other loved ones who have been there long before him.
I have the assurance that in Christ, all are made alive.
It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow. Lots of talk about a baby named Jesus right around now. For the record, He didn’t stay a baby. He lived a life not unlike ours. Political upheaval, religious intolerance, just making ends meet. The difference was, He didn’t have to be here. He chose a birth canal as His entrance into the world He had created. He lived with pain and the frustrations of life knowing that on a divinely predetermined day, he would be executed for “crimes” he never committed.
That was the only way. That was the key that unlocked eternity. A key shaped like a cross.
Not everyone enters eternity with the confident expectation of eternal peace and joy. Jesus offers that as a free gift.
Do I fully understand it – No. Do I believe it – Yes.