A NOTE TO A FRIEND WHO LOST A BABY
I heard yesterday about the birth and death of your son. I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak of you and your wife. I cannot comprehend the pain you must feel. But I can mourn with you and I can pray for you. And I can send this note of encouragement.
Not that words fix anything or change anything, they do not provide relief or escape, but they can express my concern for you and -- more importantly -- they can speak of God's love for you.
And it might be hard to see God's love at work in your life right now. You are in the shadow of the darkest days you may ever live, and the light of God's guiding hand may be hard to discern. But please be assured that it is there. Be assured that this is God's world and we are his children, and that he leads us and watches us, even as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death.
There is no situation so bad that God cannot make it good. There is no wound so deep that God cannot make it whole. There is no pain so great that God cannot make it bearable. And there is no place so distant and alone that God cannot come to it to give us solace.
I believe that your baby did not die, I believe he was taken home. Taken home to the God who had only hours before given him to you. And that's how it is with our children. They are gifts from God, his children shared with us, for an hour or a lifetime, with us as long as they need to be, away from him no longer than they need to be. Sent down here to do what they need to do, and then to go home. To a home where we will one day join them.
Each of us has a different purpose in this life. Each of us has something different we are to get from life. I believe sometimes there are sweet souls who need only visit here briefly, to get a body, to be born as all men must be born and then to die as all men must die. Possibly their brief stay is for them. To protect them from the occasional cruelties and impurities of this mortal life. Possibly their brief stay is for their parents. To test them or try them or teach them. To draw them together or to draw them toward God. To give them the strength and perspective and empathy they may need later in life to comfort and teach others.
Maybe babies like your son forego this earth life in order to help us in a way we cannot here and now comprehend.
Whatever the reason, however incomprehensible to us it may be, we must have faith that it makes sense to God, and that it serves his purpose, that it is motivated by his perfect love for us and based on his perfect understanding of us. He knows what is best, and he knows that what seems catastrophic from the limited perspective of mortality may actually be a great gift from the perfect perspective of eternity. We may find out in heaven that our greatest trials in this life were in fact our greatest blessings.
I know that you will see your baby again. I know that he will be your son and that you will raise him and love him as such. I know that your family is not meant just for here and now, but for everywhere and forever. I know that you love your baby for a reason. He has permanent place in the heart of your family not to torment you, but to remind you, to remind you that waiting on the other side will be your loving son.
A son whose time in mortality was spent in the womb of his mother and the arms of his father.
He knew little of this earth life, but what he did know was the strong arms of a loving father and the nurturing warmth of a loving mother. It was brief, but it was precious, and it was enough. Enough to hold him until the day of reunion.
I pray that it, and your faith, will be enough to hold you until that day.
I know that the Lord puts no burden on our backs that we cannot carry. He asks nothing of us that we cannot do. There is no impossibility in this life. And I know that this crushing cross you are called to bear is within your abilities, but just barely. I know it can be done, if together you take the hand of the Lord and walk out into the realm of faith.
Some might ask why this happened. I know the answer. Not the specific, but the general. Why is easy. It happened because there is a God in heaven who loves us. That is the answer to every "why" question. There is a God in heaven who loves us. And his love leads him to do what is ultimately in our best interest, even if it now seems to destroy us. For reasons we probably will never understand in this life, God took your darling son because he loves you and because he loves him. And in the next life, when we all cross over, you will see and understand that, and ultimately even understand this.
But today there is only pain and loss and faith.
I believe that the noblest spirits to pass through this mortal life are often those who stay here only briefly. They do not need this life's testing and trial to go to heaven, they are welcomed in by virtue of Jesus' sacrifice and their own sweet goodness. A goodness I am certain you and your wife felt in the brief moments you had to share with your baby. I believe that a loving Savior embraces those babies as they slip away from us after their short stay. And I believe that that same loving Savior will hand them back to us when we have done our duty and our turn on earth is through.
I am so sorry for your loss, my friend. I cannot imagine your grief. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
And you are in the loving care of a heavenly Father, who also knows what it is like to lose a Son.
Your brother in Christ,
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2006