Joy and Grief
Two families. Two stories. Two journeys.
One has been waiting, and praying, and grieving, and hoping for their child to arrive. A desperately wanted, long-awaited, baby. They have endured extraordinary loss, heartbreaking setbacks, scary, inexplicable complications. Week by week we counted with them. They passed 25. They passed 28. They passed 30 and we all rejoiced. He’s still inside. He’s going to make it.
The other is waiting, and praying, and grieving and keeping vigil, as their little boy succumbs to the ravages of leukemia. They’ve fought the good fight, but the end is nigh and so they wait. Days have turned to weeks, and they wait to say goodbye. Christmas has come and gone, and thank God they have memories of him there instead of not there. He’s not going to make it.
A beginning and an end. It’s hard for the world to feel upright when these catastrophic earthquakes rock the very core of our soul. How can the sun still shine and the moon still rise when life and death hang in the balance of day and night?
Yet it does and we wipe our eyes and go on. Grief and joy, joy and grief, are they really so different? Each brings us into the palm, the embrace of God.
Souls laid bare by the essence of what makes us human – the fragile thread that holds us here, instead of there.
One goes home. One finally arrives. Do we weep for his departure? Do we weep to bring him into a world that is so broken? One returns to the arms of a loving God, and one arrives to the arms of his loving parents.
Joy and grief. Grief and joy.
Colton peered earnestly up into Harold’s face and said; “It’s going to be okay. The first person you’re going to see is Jesus.” …By then I was used to hearing Colton talk about heaven. But now he had become a messenger, a tiny tour guide for a departing heavenly traveler.
Heaven is For Real byTodd Burpo, with Lynn Vincent
Also on the subject of grief: