A while back, my youngest daughter Angela, early in her pregnancy, lost her baby, our sixth grandchild. So heartbreaking, so many tears. We spent seven hours with her and her family the next day, hugging my girl and talking with my grandsons about where their sister or brother is. There are no words for times like this, as most of you know. I was still up at 2 AM the next morning, pondering it all, hoping Angie was asleep.
I adore our daughter, and I am so touched by her heart and her trust in her Savior, in the middle of such hurt. Eight months before the miscarriage she had a huge tumor at the base of her skull, diagnosed as cancer. She said if God took her, He would still be good. She didn’t want to leave her family, but she was ready. They found it wasn’t cancerous after all, but the nerves severed in the surgery have caused her ongoing pain. I wanted to die instead of her, and I’ve asked God to take away her pain and give it to me, but of course it doesn’t work that way. Someone has already died for her, already taken her pain upon Himself, and it wasn’t me. But now my youngest child has lost her youngest child. She’s among the most godly people I know.
I’ve been thinking about Heaven a lot, wondering if it’s my first granddaughter waiting for me there (I’d be happy with a sixth grandson too, though I’m convinced she’s a girl :). The list was already lengthy, but now I have one more compelling reason to long for Heaven than I had before the loss of our grandchild. Peter tells us, “you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11). God is the main welcomer, no doubt, but I think there will be a welcoming committee. All eyes on Jesus, the Cosmic Center, the Source of all Happiness, but then person after person who has gone before us, those who touched our lives and those whose lives we’ve touched. Glorious reunions, and amazing introductions, conversations and story-telling at banquet tables, jaws dropping and laughter long and hard, the laughter of Jesus being the most contagious.
But at that welcome, I see myself being hugged by my dear mother, who I led to Christ when I was a new believer in high school, and who died 31 years ago when Angie was two months old. Then I picture Mom, that broad smile on her face, presenting me with my sixth grandchild (who she has probably been fawning over the last two days). And when that happens, I will look at Jesus, nodding my thanks to the One with the nail-scarred hands, and I will not let my grandchild or my mother go.
And then, perhaps, it will be my turn, when Nanci joins us, to introduce her to our grandchild she’s never met till that moment. But the best will be when my Angela arrives and we will present her with the child who lived in her, who knew no other person but her, and who left her two nights ago. And it will all make sense then, we will see in retrospect the reality of Romans 8:28-29, and they will never be parted again. And in the resurrection, on the New Earth, I think God may allow those children taken young to grow up with their parents and grandparents, in a world of endless wonder and adventure, yet complete safety, with “no more curse” (Rev. 22:3), and where we’re told in Rev. 21:4-5 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"