Judah’s round baby hand – short fingers and dimpled knuckles – reached for the yellow-brown leaf.
This fresh, plump hand and this dry, withered leaf – like life literally touching death.
And in that moment, I gasped a little.
My heart ached as I was immediately reminded of my friend who’s father just died and another friend who traveled a state over to bury her favorite uncle. And then there was my uncle.
There have been somewhat expected deaths and sudden deaths – but no easy deaths.
About two weeks ago, I rode in the backseat of my parents’ car leaving the funeral home, telling them how thankful I am for them and for their health . . . but then thinking deep down, “What if?”, knowing I could be the next one receiving heart-ripping news of a parent or a child or a beloved family member.
Judah crinkled the dry leaf in his hand, and it crumbled. He looked at me, almost surprised at how it felt.
I returned the look into his eyes and immediately wanted to cry – thinking about how safe and controlled his little life seems now – carried in my arms wherever I want him to go – but how one day parts of him will crumble and pieces of him will die, things I cannot control and circumstances outside of my own grasp.
And in that instant, my mind gave way again to “What ifs?”
Those sad, hard thoughts – those worst fears, really. And I looked up through some bare branches, pleading that those things would never come to pass.
But, thankfully, Truth rescued my wandering mind. Like a lasso, it reigned me in, and like a life preserver, it pulled me back to safety.
The safety of the reality of truth that EVEN IF my “what ifs” become real –
EVEN IF I have to stare them straight in the face one day –
there is TRUTH.
There is that beautiful promise of ALL THINGS –
ALL THINGS for my good; ALL THINGS for His glory.
Yes, there has been news of much death around me lately. And here we are, right in the middle of fall – a season of death. There is much dying that takes place, yet it is my favorite time of year.
In the death, so much more is seen –
rich, deep colors, true forms of trees, and more light shines through.
In this season, I am reminded that death, indeed, gives way to life and to light . . . and that hurting and dying precedes deep joy and real living – in this life and in the life to come.
Judah put a part of the broken leaf in his mouth and pursed his lips shut.
He retracted to avoid my swift finger-swipe, but I insisted . . . because I knew that he would regret that decision.
“Trust me, Judah.”
And then I smiled peacefully, giving thanks for my Trustworthy Father that knows Best. Amidst all of the death and confusion, He is Good.
His timing is perfect and so is His plan – and His plan is not to leave us on this broken, dying planet. But He will one day speak peace and put all wrongs right and breathe life and make all things new.
Yes, I smiled a smile of rescue as I held my baby close and remembered how He holds us all even closer.
. . . . .
photos of fall and a brief family update here