During the weeks following
, I struggled to make sense of the countless emotions which had taken residence within me. I read books on grief and hope, on suffering and grace as I attempted to bring some meaning to this tremendous loss I had experienced.
One book I read was by a bereaved mother who also lost her teenage son in an accident. I sadly do not recall much about her story but the title of her book remains vivid in my mind.
Roses in December
has become somewhat metaphorical of a precious part of my grief journey that I discovered while reading in the Book of Hebrews.
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is known as the
Hall of Faith
~ where tremendous examples of faithful living in difficult times are shared from the Old Testament. There in Hebrews 11:4, right along with the heroes of our faith, are listed the names of Cain and Abel. I often wondered how a chapter which focuses on faithful living would list the names of a) Cain, a brother who murdered his sibling and did not live faithfully, and b) Abel, who died as a young man. As I dwelt on this verse, I began to understand some of the mystery of redeeming the loss of my own son.
There is was ~ just a half of verse, actually, that has become a source of joy and hope to me. Hebrews 11:4b states ~
And through his faith, though he died,
he still speaks.
Just like unexpected blossoms in the winter and beauty among ashes, God brings value to our loss as we hear others speak of how Scott’s life, although cut short by death, touched their lives. I received just such a bouquet yesterday!
A classmate of Scott's ~
Immanuel High School
Class of 1998 ~ found me on Facebook. She is married and lives with her husband and their three beautiful daughters in southern California. In her message to request my FB friendship, she wrote:
I became a trauma nurse because I couldn't help Scott the day he was injured . . . I save lives every day in his honor, maybe to make myself feel better for not knowing what to do that day, or maybe because that's the way it was designed to be. I have always wanted to find you and tell you that Scott is saving lives . . . through people that are still here like me. You may not know all of us anymore, but we are out here doing the work! Recently, I was given the opportunity to teach others how to become nurses at a college level. This should yield crops of life-savers, and I am so excited that thousands of lives will be saved because of my experience with your son.
Stories like this make the words of the Hebrews passage
for me. Her words are truly like roses in December, giving off the sweet fragrance of life, eternal life. We cannot change the fact that we carry this burden of grief. But God is continually gracious to give us a glimpse of His bigger picture ~ one with eternal value ~ that allows us to understand how those who are gone, through faith, still speak of His faithfulness.