|Michael, Betsy, Nathan, Heather|
Collin, Cory, Nora, Tyler
There was death in the waiting room of that hospital... Carol lay unconscious on a cold table in another room as a surgeon removed her life's dream. The disease had forced her to decide between the death of her body or the death of her dream: a radical hysterectomy at 23 years young. In her grief she thought it God's judgment upon her. And indeed it was, just as all death is the result of His justice. But He is also the God of resurrection.
Carol is the only child of Mary and Forrest. Two parents who had love enough for a house full of children, but, as God willed it, they gave their house full of love to her. Now that singularity seemed forever fixed... there would be no grandchildren. Dreams died.
Carol and I had just been married for four short years. Having been raised in a broken home, it was my dream to have an intact family--to be a faithful husband and father--but the second half of that dream was over... ending that day in that waiting room. Death came.
It is through death that the heart of Jesus is placed in the risen soul. It is life from the dead. We must know the pain and loss of death before we can experience the rapture of resurrection. And in resurrection He changes our hearts and our eyes. I am raised a different person than I ever would or could have been before death. We are born through death into His image, and He is, among other things, the Father of the Fatherless.
It is a choice He makes. He chooses who will bear what reflection of His image in this world. And this resurrection wasn't for Carol, Larry, Mary, or Forrest. It was for them-- the fatherless. Our death was necessary for them. Did you think resurrection was about you... about us? Death is about us... resurrection is about them... others, it's always about others.
There was life from the dead a few years later in the hallway of that hospital. Carol, Larry, Mary, and Forrest stood looking through the nursery window at Nathan's face. Resurrection! At birth Nathan became parent-less, but the Father of the Fatherless had resurrected a family for him. It was life in another hallway a few years later when Betsy--sweet Betsy-- was first placed in Carol's arms. For us it was and is heaven on earth.
It is life from the dead to hold our grandchildren. It is more than our dreams. It is life from the dead to hear the children at Amazing Grace Children's Home sing in the morning. It is resurrection when they crowd around us in a group hug, and look at us with eyes of love. You may not believe me... but Carol and I agree: death was worth it. We would not change a thing. Thank you, Lord, for taking us through that shadowy valley.