writes . . . A precious baby is entering the world today. As we watch the contractions on the monitor, the birthing room fills with grandparents, aunts and uncles; everyone coming with anticipation to greet the newest member of their family. Yet, the conversation I have with my friends, the expectant parents, is quite different than any other. To understand, you need to know more.
Not long ago, friends and family gathered at this same hospital to welcome Kade - see sweet Kade on the left. Last summer, on August 28th, Kade entered this world. Sadly on October 28th, at just two months of age, Kade slipped into eternity in his sleep – cause of death: SIDS.
His parents have deep faith in God, and continue to trust Him with this loss. All the same, their faith does not lessen their sorrow. They still grieve . . . they grieve with hope – a hope of that blessed reunion when they will hold dear sweet Kade once again.
Just before Christmas, my dear friend discovered she was expecting again. In fact, she was already about 10 weeks along. Calculations indicate that she actually conceived this baby the week before Kade’s death.
And therein lies some of the tension in Kade’s story. I have heard her lament – “If you wanted me to have a baby, God, why would you take my sweet Kade, only to give me another one?”
These questions of “why” – so much a part of one’s grief journey – often do not have an answer. They are questions that express our deepest longing for understanding, for meaning, for some way of knowing – "How do I go on living with this tremendous burden of loss?"
So this morning in the birthing room, amid the contractions and medical personnel, we talk about Kade and sorrow and Gethsemane. We talk about our theology of grief – what is God like and what does God do in times of loss. We remember David’s Psalms of Lament. We talk about the Garden of Gethsemane the night before Jesus’ death. It is truly an example of lament. When the reality of the loss became clear to him, Jesus enters Gethsemane deeply grieved. There in
, the Hebrew word meaning
, Jesus utters his prayers of protest, that his life will be crushed under the burden of sin. There Jesus climbs into the lap of Abba Father and pleads for this cup of death to pass from him. In fact, three times Jesus brings his pain to God, and then finally rests in submission to the Father’s plan – a plan that will glorify God and draw people to Him.
Today is not a redemptive moment because there is another birth in the family. Today does not redeem the loss of precious Kade. No, the Redemptive Steps came months ago. When Kade died, there was the potential for his parents to be destroyed by his loss. But they are choosing daily to be transformed by it. By God’s grace and mercy, Kade’s parents choose to rest in the everlasting arms of God, to trust Him with this loss and in the process, their lives glorify God and draw others to His Kingdom.
Revelation 21:3-5 promises: And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new," and He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
Post Script: At approximately 3:30 pm this afternoon, Kade’s little sister, Tori Ann, came into this world.