I remember one Saturday morning twenty years ago, I was sitting in a park with my Bible and a cup of coffee reading in Luke about Mary's pregnancy with Jesus. As I read the story, it sank in that nothing was left to chance, it was all under God's control. Nothing escaped His will then and I realized that nothing escapes His will now. It was comforting and awesome at the same time, and I remember feeling a sense of reverence that went deep into my heart.
But as this memory comes back to me, I am also reflecting about the situation of a family two houses down from us. The mom died suddenly earlier this summer, due to a mix up of medication as she was being treated in a local hospital for a chronic condition that often left her dishabilitated but she still had many more years ahead with her husband and three children. The neighborhood pitched in and helped out at the house making repairs and cleaning and landscaping as the dad and kids spent the summer with extended family after the funeral. But it was still a painful return home to start the school year without their mom there.
The family are Christians and believe in God's love and soveriegnty, as well as in Jesus dying on a cross for sins and being resurrected the ultimate triumph over death. They believe that their mom is with Jesus and that they will see her in heaven someday. And I pray that their faith will get them through these growing up years without her.
This weekend, I'll be walking our Golden Retriever by their house and ask if the kids would want to join me for a few turns around the block. Ginger knows them and they know Ginger ever since she was a puppy. Maybe they would like to play fetch with her or frisbee. I feel helpless in the face of seeing others greive--especially children, but I got a dog with a lot of energy and love and even though that's all I can give for a few hours, I hope that it's something.