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How different the scene would have been on that street corner, if we could have seen through heavenly eyes. Perhaps we would have seen a joyous company of angels come to welcome our precious child into a beautiful heavenly realm. Perhaps they would have assured her as she saw us overwhelmed with shock and grief that we would be well cared for. She may have seen each of us attended to closely by loving beings sent to comfort and guide us through our loss. Perhaps we would have seen her wave goodbye as she excitedly boarded a heavenly chariot sent to carry her to her glorious new home.

Perhaps there was great joy that day, when all we could feel was our own deep pain. We knew she had gone to a better life. We knew of the joy that awaited her, but that joy seemed so far from us then. How can Heaven be so close, as to have your loved one passing through its door, yet to feel as though it were a million miles away? How can we, who know of its treasure and gain, still be so overcome by our own loss?

Our eyes see such a different view from this side of the veil. We see a child snatched from our arms. We see a young life cut short too soon. We see the one whom we have loved and cared for with such tender devotion, suddenly taken from our lives. We see a daughter whom we have groomed and raised with such pride and promise, now vanish from our grasp. All the hope and expectancy of coming years now gone in an instant. We feel the gaping hole in our own hearts, as an integral part of our family is ripped away.

We feel the horror of such a violent tragedy that crushed a frail, beautiful body. We see our precious girl, only moments before full of life and vitality, now lying lifeless and still. We feel her warm hands and stroke her soft hair, knowing that this is the only goodbye we will ever get. We feel the pain of wasted moments and regrets with no second chances. We feel so deeply the pain of our own loss, the longing to see her smile, to hear her laugh, to hold her again in our arms, to tell her once more that she is loved.

For her it can be said, “Oh grave, where is thy victory. Oh death, where is thy sting.” She is free from this mortal body to feel no sorrow or pain, in a place where all tears are wiped away. Our mind and hearts know of the blessings and joys that lie before her. But for us, bound to this earthly realm, death takes on a different form. As believers it is true that, “We do not grieve as those who have no hope”, but that does not mean that we do not grieve.

When the pain of loss so overwhelms our senses and the heart aches so deeply, what room is there left in this frail, feeble mind to feel the great joys of her gain. We know it in our understanding, but we see through a glass so darkly, subject to the weakness of our humanity. Grief, in some way or form, is given to all men to know, a common path which all must cross on the course of their life’s journey. Even Christ was not exempt from this fundamentally human experience, as he wept at Lazarus’ tomb.

Why is it given to us in this life to know such heavy loss? What part of our earthly journey necessitates such an experience? What lessons and broken riches can only be found in these darkest places? Would our lives on earth be incomplete or our spiritual growth stunted if we never came so near to Heaven’s portal? Must it be that we come to know both sides of the veil? Is the pain of death part of the plan, that we may know truly the glories of the eternal?

This much I do know. I am not the same person now as I was before. Grief has cut me open to the deepest places where my core being has been exposed, where God’s hands can reach around my heart and transform it like no other. I know that when all the outer layers are stripped away, then I come to know my true self, both my weakness and my strengths. I know that when the soul is so sorely pressed, that the glitter of this world loses its luster and the material loosens its hold. Ambitions and pursuits, once so important, fade into the background. We find ourselves grasping for a new sense of reality.

It is from this place of loss that we can come to know Heaven’s gain. It is a slow and painful growth that matures and ripens the soul. It is only in the lonely quietness where the deepest utterings can be heard. Oh, to step back for a moment from my own hurting heart and see from the Heavenly view. God, grant me your blessed gift, to see beyond the present pain, to the joys of a bright tomorrow. Give me grace to live out my days in patient and humble service, till my child and I can be together again. Give me a portion of Heaven’s joy to carry with me here on earth today.


By Marie Morrow

 


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