How many times have I spoken those words? As a Christian I understand how crucial God’s grace is, how pivotal it is in our lives as well as the history of the world. As a Christian I know I am saved by His grace. I know Jesus Christ came to this earth, fully human and fully God freely giving up His life for the world. This is the foundation of Christianity. It is the foundation of my life. But now, I find it difficult to speak those words.
How can I say it is by God’s grace Joshua is alive and happy and well today when the flip side to that statement is God’s grace didn’t cover Paul’s family or Maggie May’s or Rachel’s or Taylor’s or Lexie’s or David’s or Jackson’s or John’s or Kory’s or most recently…Labri’s? (I could go on and on with names here)
Why didn’t God’s grace fall on these children and their families? Why do their parent’s arms ache to hold them one more time? Or long to hear their laughter? Rachel’s mom often writes, “We have a Rachel shaped hole in our hearts?”
Just two weeks after his death, Paul’s mom wrote “I’ve been trying to find a word to describe how I feel, and the best one I can come up with is: Raw. I feel freshly wounded, but without hope of the wound being healed. It’s an interesting place: I can’t be healed (on earth) by being reunited with Paul, but I don’t want to be healed without him. Healing would mean that somehow I’ve “gotten over” Paul. I’d rather hurt for the rest of my life.” She knows she will be reunited with Paul in heaven, but it’s the here and now, the aching and sorrow and tears and “rawness” that must be endured today.
So where is God’s grace for these broken parents?
I’ve decided, it must be a different kind of grace. As I read their websites, talk with them and watch them, I see a kind of grace that gets them through each day. I see a kind of grace that gives them strength to somehow go forward, to suffer, longing for the day of their reunion with their child in eternity. I see a different kind of grace, which propels them into taking great action in their child’s name, honoringthem. I see a different kind of grace where memories comfort their forever damaged hearts. There will be no perfect wholeness for any of us, until heaven.
So, how can I celebrate God’s graciousness of my son’s life here on earth, right now, while grieving the loss and seeming lack of grace for yet another child who has died of cancer? I guess I’m asking, why the death of one and the life of another?
By God’s grace… I will be attending Labri Dirkse’s memorial service this Saturday. She was twelve years old.