He was loved the day he entered into our lives. He had a unique charm and appeal about him. He was the first to take to the dance floor at his mom’s wedding and showed off his moves. He loved music from guitar recitals to becoming the next big rap artist. His words and rhythm were that of an established artist. He was studying to get his degree in architecture, but if you asked him, he was already an architect. He stepped into his dream without the required paperwork because that’s how he lived. The world was his for the taking. And he loved Jesus! He died in his sleep at the age of twenty-one. Now we see through a glass dimly.
One of the greatest mysteries of life is why things happen when they do and why they happen to certain people. Why are people cut down in the prime of their lives? What is the purpose of a premature death? Why does God appoint more years of life to some and not others? If God loves us, why does he take our loved ones, our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, when we want and need them most? Now we see through a glass dimly.
It’s hard to answer questions like these when posed to you, when you yourself are struggling with the same questions. The reality is that none of us are guaranteed a certain number of years or how long we have to live. You may think that twenty years old makes one a young person, but if they only have thirty years to live, they are actually old. Conversely if one is forty but will live to be eighty, they are relatively young. Only God knows at any given time if we are young or old. So what do we do with this information?
When my dad died earlier this year I resolved to be the man I heard described at his funeral. His death created a determination to be a better man and make a difference in the lives of others. When my grandson died last month I resolved to make every day count. Dad’s death created purpose; my grandson’s death created urgency. None of us can recapture wasted days but oh what a privilege to be given new opportunities with each new day to make them count. Life for me is not about what you acquire but rather what you leave behind. Are people better off for knowing me? Are my kids better off because I am their dad? Do people see enough of Christ in my life that they desire to want to know him better? Am I really loving people supernaturally as God does?
1 Corinthians 13 says that now we see through a glass dimly. In other words in this life we won’t have all the answers to the hard questions. We will never be able to understand or even accept God’s higher ways. We will struggle to find purpose in suffering. But the verse goes on to say when we are with Christ we will look back and understand. In my last conversation with my grandson I confirmed his faith in Christ. There will be an empty chair for the holidays and a hole in our hearts that will not be filled in this life. But there will be a day when looking back won’t be important and having the answers won’t matter. I am prepared for that day. I pray you will be as well. Now we see through a glass dimly but then we will see all things clearly.
My dearest child, I want to try to reach out to you from my new home, and I hope somehow you will be able to understand. I know that this time each year on your Earthly calendar you pause to remember me and all the other motherly figures in your life. I see how you recall fond memories of times we spent together like viewing old movies over and over again. I too still remember all those beautiful moments. The memories we made together are indeed eternal and still very real. You will understand this someday. However, I also see that this day is bittersweet for you and that you have a sense of sadness that I am no longer with you to continue making memories. I wish you could know that nothing could be farther from the truth! You may not see me, but I am still there in more ways than you could ever imagine. You were taught from an early age that God gives his angels the charge of watching over his children. Well my child, I was assigned to watch over you! It’s one of the percs of my new situation! I see your every move.
How I wish I could tell you that I didn’t become a mother on the day you were born; I was a mom the minute I knew I had conceived you! I started loving you months before I ever saw your beautiful face for the first time. I cradled you the first time I felt you moving inside me. I sang lullabies to you every night before I went to sleep. I began to pray over your life, that God would bless you and keep you from all pain long before I ever experienced the pain of introducing you to the world and your new family. There is a bond that forms between a mother and her child that only moms fully appreciate, and I can assure you that the bond is never severed, even after death! In fact it is only now that I truly understand the unconditional love between a parent and a child since I am with my true Father and can see things more clearly from my new vantage point. You are even now more precious to me than ever before. I never thought that possible, but I can assure you it’s true!
You have become the embodiment of every good thing I tried to teach you all those years. I know there are times when you wonder if I would be proud of the person you’ve become. I wish you knew the pride I still feel as I watch over you. I see a bit of me in you with every act of loving kindness you show others. I observe how you courageously respond to earthly challenges; I feel the emotions you have when you worry about others. I see the full intent of a heart much bigger than I ever imagined while on Earth, one full of goodness and love that is an uncommon virtue in your world. And each and every time I see you doing things out of the love you learned from me, I thank my Father that he blessed me of all people with the privilege of being your mother. Nothing I ever achieved or accomplished in my old home means more to me now than being selected to be your mom. How I wish I could accurately relay that to you now.
I know there are supposedly no egos up here, but moms still get together and share stories of their children and stake claims to bragging rights. You child, have given me so many stories since I left that it never seems like a fair fight with the other moms! God in his mercy has actually given us all the privilege of being the guardian angels of our earthly children. It is perhaps our greatest reward! So while we await the appointed time when we will be reunited, I want to assure you of my presence. There are little ways I can still interact with you-I just hope you know it’s me. When you are walking and you feel that soft breeze on your face or see that tiny butterfly land near you and sense a calming spirit, that’s me! When you experience the pride of watching your children grow, you got that from me! And when you face the challenges that life will throw at you but sense a peace about it, that’s God channeling through me to you! I will be in the laughter you can’t explain, the songs that bring you to tears, the worship that flows freely from you heart and even in the love you feel for that special someone God gave you. I’m there in all of it, still loving, still caring, still so full of pride I can’t speak. You will never be alone and you and I will never be separated by time or distance because I am no longer bound by those things! So on this special day when you remember me, I hope you know that I am celebrating you my dear child. My greatest badge of honor was, and still is, that of being your mom! I am still learning all the ways I can touch you, but I have plenty of time and a great teacher! You are forever in my heart and I will forever be in yours. I will ask God to reveal that to you every day until we are together again.