I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
~ John 16:33
I still struggle to understand when a child dies. Years ago when our daughter was still young and not in school, the woman who cared for her gave birth to the most beautiful child. "Nick," was perfect. I remember how happy his parents were to welcome him, and how so much of their life was focused on this newborn. One evening his parents laid down with him as he napped and they all fell asleep. When they woke up, they realized that he had died.
They struggled with life-saving measures, but it was too late.
I remember going to their home to visit them the next day after we had learned of his death. The house was dark, curtains drawn, and the song, "Everybody Hurts," by R. E. M. was on constant replay. The presence of grief made the darkness even darker. I remember his father asking me, "Why?"
"I don't know," I responded.
Since then, I have been at a number of bedsides where life seemed to be "cut short." But, as short as their lives may have been, they belong to the amazing communion of saints. To this day, Nick still exists because he is part of every child's death that I encounter.
After Jesus was born, King Herod orders the murder of hundreds of children, in hopes to kill the Messiah he was worried about. So many children, and for what? Whether we realize it or not, a life, no matter how long or short, can still bear witness to what God is doing in the world.
While God does not plan for untimely deaths of innocent child, God is present to help with our pain when we have encountered loss, and for those who look to the heavens and ask, "Why?"
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.