Sunday, September 28, 2014

Goodness and Mercy

I haven't posted on this blog for several years now (this is Isaac, by the way). But our recent experiences with our daughter Sarah have made me want to write a little about my own thoughts and experiences.

Our little Sarah, all bundled up
For those who don't know, our second daughter Sarah lived only four days: she was born on August 12 and died on August 16. She was beautiful. She was born. She was alive. She breathed. She slept. She awoke. She held our hands. She once looked into our eyes (at least that's how it seemed). Then on a peaceful Saturday morning we removed her breathing tube and she died peacefully in our arms. Our beautiful little girl, gone from this earth.

Daddy's little girl
In those four short days Sarah changed my life, I hope forever. She changed the way I see my life, but most importantly she changed the way I view my faith in God.

I believe in God. I have always believed in God. But before Sarah my faith in God was more intellectual, more spiritual. But Sarah made the love of God tangible. Rather than an abstract thought -- something that made me feel good inside -- the love of God become something real to me, something I could directly interact with. It was given to me and washed over me during the hardest time of my life.

At Sarah's funeral I described it like this: It was like being thrown into the darkest abyss, only to find myself standing on solid ground. There is no other way for me to describe it -- something was there. It was not something I earned. It was given to me as a gift.

Saying goodbye, for now
At the funeral
We who believe in God often say that our belief, our faith, is meant to make us "happy." I believe that this is true, but that it is also untrue. "Happiness" as we define it now is a rather recent, modern idea. We are not promised that if we keep the commandments of God and follow Jesus Christ that our lives will be filled with ease, that our stress will always be low, and that our mood will always be slightly toward the "pleasant" end of the spectrum.

Throughout my experience with Sarah I had a scripture in my mind, which I think better describes what we can expect from a spiritual life, from a life committed to following Christ. It is found in the beautiful Psalm 23:

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

Goodness. Mercy. That is our promise and our inheritance. During Sarah's four days on this earth there was so much goodness, so much mercy, that we hardly had room enough to receive it. Sarah herself was the epitome of Goodness and Mercy. She was Goodness and Mercy packaged up in an imperfect body, sent to show us God's love.

Many more challenges await me in my future life, I am sure of that. But I am confident that goodness and mercy will follow me, all the days of my life. And someday I will dwell, with my daughter Sarah, in the house of my Lord, forever.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I just loved that. Do I have permission to use that in a lesson sometime?