When a Child Dies #14 . . . Hope
In this final post in this series, I want to recognize what Paul told the believers in Thessalonica: we don’t grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Note: that does not mean we don’t grieve. But our grief recognizes that in the resurrection of Jesus, something big, something cosmic, something gospeled has taken place. God has begun to set things right in his “new creation.” And everything—all of creation!—is now groaning, waiting, longing, and hoping as it anticipates God’s future (a future that we already can taste).
It’s toward that future, that I share this story—again, used by permission— from Megan’s Secrets:
When Megan was just five, she was playing in our fenced-in backyard. I was supposed to be keeping a close eye on her; but of course Diane and I defined “close” very differently.
I looked out after a few minutes to see Megan’s face down by the dog’s food dish. She was picking up the dog food and eating it. I ran outside and said, “Megan!”
She knew she was toast. Limited comprehension or not, she knew that eating the dog’s food was a no-no. I walked toward her, having no idea yet what to do. Just as I reached her, she puckered her lips for a kiss.
What a picture: a little girl with her glasses on, crumbs on her face, and dog breath, puckered up for a kiss. I’m so glad I didn’t let that invitation pass. It was a kiss only a parent could enjoy.
I now await that next kiss. I eagerly await God’s final work of new creation. A time to set things right. A time to wipe away all tears.
And a time to be reunited with Megan, my daughter and my teacher.