“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again” {4/13/14}

There exists a place in my mind where the cold, sad feelings meet with those that are warm and happy to create a swirling supercell.  The majority of the time, I am able to suppress a large part of the cold feelings while concentrating on the warm ones.  This usually creates a very pleasant mind experience.  Of course there are days when the cold thoughts dominate the happy ones as well.  Such is life.  But then there are days such as the ones I’ve had this weekend.

These are the days when the cold and warm thoughts run together in such a way to create a bittersweet whirlwind of emotions.  A rotating thunderstorm of sweet sorrow making its way across the landscape of my mind.

I first learned of the death of an extended family member who’d been sick for a while, and then got a call that a dear family friend had been tragically killed.  It was a hard night and day.

It would be easy to get lost in grief.  Grief for my friends, for my family, and grief of my own.  But a still, small voice whispers through the darkness, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”*  While I am here on this small and insignificant earth, God – who is above and over all – is rejoicing.  But the amazing thing about His love is that while he is rejoicing over being united with His saint, he still understands our grief and holds us in His comforting embrace.

And then.  I look at my son.  The embodiment of everything that is pure happiness and peace.  This innocent, little soul has yet to feel sorrow.  It breaks my heart to think of the pain that he will inevitably endure throughout his life… of the sinner that he will become… and of the tears that he will shed.  But we all must feel pain.  We all become sinners.  We will all cry.  This is life.  But for now, my sweet and innocent little boy is just that.  Innocent.

My little child does not share in my sadness today, and that brings me comfort.  I was rocking him when I received that horrible phone call.  As I glanced down at him through teary eyes, he looked up at me and smiled.  That big, toothless grin that does not understand sadness.  I have never beheld a look of such pure and unrestrained joy as when my little boy smiles.  And although it won’t last, I praise God that today he is so sweetly innocent.

We were able to go to church this morning with our family and friends who are in grief, and it was nice to see the smiles on their faces as they spent time with Jesse.  I am glad that he was able to bring light into the darkness today for more than just my husband and I.  He’s such a brightly shining little ball of sunshine!

So, yes, the next few months and even years will be hard for a lot of people I love.  But although we are saddened now, we will meet our loved ones again.  And the reunion will be so much sweeter than the depth of our sorrow.  Until then, I will look at my son and praise the God who gives as well as takes away.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.  – 1 Thes 4:13-18


He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.  – Rev 21:4




– Mandy

*Psalms 116:15


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