My prayer after a child I know died.

When the ocean waves crash over and over and over and breathing is impossible,
When fog as thick as glue conceals everything around and the sun is invisible, hidden behind the clouds.
When the crickets stop chirping and the birds stop singing,
And the rain starts pouring and the floods start rising.

When the unthinkable happens, and I don’t have words
to express immense grief and confusion.
All hope seems lost.

And as the rain pours the questions start flooding my mind:
“Why did this happen?”
Why, oh why??

Why did that child die, before his life had hardly begun,
Before he could enter middle school and go to college?
Before he knew what he wanted to be and do and go.
Breath gone.
Heart stopped.

Tears fall.

Despair crouches at the threshold of the door to my heart,
Threatening to crush me if I would just open the door.

And I wonder why. I do not understand.
Year after year, step after step,
Death is a reoccurring visitor, an unwelcome enemy.
Taunting, tormenting, it will not go away.

Darkness floods in, breaking every light.

And I wonder how I will face his friends, the other children who also do not understand.
Wonder how I will comfort them, encourage them,
Remind them that there is One who has a purpose for good in all things.
Wonder how his sister is doing, how his parents are, his teachers,
Those who knew him better than I.

Tears fall.

The words to a prayer stay on the tip of my tongue,
Itching to fly out if I only knew how to form them.
My heart cries out and I am thankful the Holy Spirit will intercede to You on my behalf.

When the unthinkable happens in the blink of an eye,
In the flutter of a butterfly’s wing,
In the drip of a water drop.

When the unthinkable happens and all I can do is remind myself that You are good.
You have a purpose in all things.
You are the master artist, able to turn the blackest rain cloud into a glorious rainbow.

You are good.
Your mercies are never ending.
Your love never fails.
You never fail.

You comfort the grieving and heal the broken.
You mend the rips and tears of my heart and make all things new.

You teach that the last heartbeat is just the beginning
Of your unfolding story.

You conquered death, and for that I praise You, O Lord.
Death is defeated.
The war is already won.

And when You took that child away from us here,
You were taking him home to You, where he belongs for eternity.
He was not ours to keep as he belonged to You from the beginning.

You design all our steps and Your ways are perfect in Your sight.
You tell the waves where to stop on the sand and tell the sun when to rise.

Tears fall,
But You catch them.

You hold all our tears in the palm of Your hand
And You grieve with us.

You know what it is like to loose one you love to death.
Your own son died and in the process You experienced inexpressible grief
So that now You are able to comfort us in our sorrow
And remind us that death is destroyed.

So Lord comfort us in our sorrow.
Be with us as we cry tears of frustration and loss.
Wrap Your loving arms around us as we wonder what Your plan is.

Make us whole again.

When the world cries out “There is no hope!”
May our hearts disagree with a hearty “Yes there is!”

There is hope, and more hope than I ever could imagined.
Hope that keeps going and going and going like the ocean on the horizon.
Hope that keeps flowing and flowing like the Mississippi river.
Hope that lasts.

Hope that You freely give, because You are the source of hope.

When the unthinkable happens and all hope seems lost
And confusion soars in like an eagle to its nest
My heart rests in You for You are my hiding place.
I can hide in the shadow of Your wings for you will comfort me and protect me from the world.

You are hope.
Be our hope.

You are peace.
Be our peace.

You are joy.
Be our joy.

You are enough.
You are more than enough.

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