A friend of mine lost her 7-month old son last weekend; he simply didn’t wake up. That morning she lived every mother’s worst nightmare. How can one respond to such overwhelming loss? There are no words. All week I’ve been haunted by the tragedy, imagining the grief facing my dear friend and her family across the country.
Why God gives as family the precious gift of a beloved baby, only to take him back infancy , is a mystery that I’ll never understand this side of eternity. About the death of a child- a sweet, innocent young one full of the promise of an unlived life – one can only cry out, “Why, God, why?” It is beyond comprehension.
Paul’s admonition to the contrary, I live by sight far more than by faith; a death like this rocks my faith. And surely my faith would be all the more rocked if my own family were living through the tragedy. I pondered this in the fall when I read Stepping Heavenward (1869), whose author Elizabeth Prentiss lost two young children in the space of three months. Prentiss writes with the wisdom and authority of one who was walked through this particular “valley of the shadow of death” and has found her Savior good and faithful even there. About her sick baby, the book’s protagonist Katie says: “If He should take her away I should still rejoice that this life was mingled with ours, and has influenced them… I have given this precious little one away to her Savior and to mine; living or dying, she is His.” (more…)