Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Words You Never Want to Hear

Recently one of our favorite babysitters (a mom some former students) was unable to babysit for us because of a death in the family. I ran into her a few days later and asked how everyone was doing. She said it was really hard as her brother-in-law died suddenly at the age of 59 years-old. This same family has experienced a lot of losses within the last year and I'm sure this was especially hard because he was so young.

She told me that her husband had to go tell his mother that her son was dead. She said that those are the words a mother never wants to hear. We hugged and she went on her way and I went on mine. But her words really got to me: "Those are the words a mother never wants to hear - your child is dead."

I pondered that sentence for a long time and have been thinking about it ever since.

I have to admit that at first I was angry. Did she know who she was talking to? Did she remember that I have heard those words twice and it is gut-wrenching? Did she realize how close she got to my wound?

And then I thought about it some more. It's a horrible feeling to hear that your child is dead. And it doesn't matter if they're 80, 59, 30, 10, or if its an unborn baby - it's still a loss and it's still hard to hear those words no matter how old you or your child is.

I'm reminded some of the grieving mothers in the Bible. Women who lost their children - Eve, Bathsheeba, Elizabeth, Mary. How deep their losses must have been. How much pain these women endured at the loss of their precious children.

Isaiah 49:14-16 reminds me that God's love for us is even stronger than a mother's love for her children (which at times can seem impossible). God will not forget us. He has "tattooed" our names on the palms of his hands. God is faithful even when we don't feel it or see it or hear it. God won't forget us in our pain. He will see that our walls are broken down before him. And I pray that He can use that grief to draw us closer to him, that one day we will wear our God-story as the ornament for a bride. I pray that God will use this pain to bring beauty out of our ashes, to adorn us for our Bridegroom. I pray that our God-story continues to flow out of our lives even amidst grief and pain. Thank you God for your promises that you will bring beauty and strength to our lives through your precious son, Jesus Christ. 

14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me. 
 ~ Isaiah 49:14-16 ~

1 comment:

Sandy said...

thank you for this well-timed post. Tomorrow is a tough day in my "book of losses" and your post brought some comfort :)