Thursday, November 3, 2016

Changed lives.....

On Tuesday our family gathered together to remember and celebrate our precious little Lucas, who would have been two years old on that day.  It hardly seems possible that two years have passed since our family was shaken to the core by the sudden and unexplained death of my little 10 day old grandson.  Hearing about this kind of tragedy is far different than actually experiencing it.  I know that our family is not alone in the loss of a child.  You can hardly scan Facebook or hear the news without some report of children leaving their families way too soon.  While we have been shaken to the core, we are also still standing.  We are standing together.   And for that I am extremely thankful.

This was the view, looking up, from the graveside of our little Lucas when we gathered at the cemetery on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful day - so warm for November 1st.  The sky was a brilliant blue and the leaves were just beautiful on all of the stately old trees that surrounded us.
It was so good to be there together with Doug and Susie - grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles and cousins.  Standing together and remembering and celebrating his very short life.  Gwen and Tim and the kids had made a wonderful stepping stone that includes each of their thumb prints.  
I left a small sun catcher of a robin that I found when Ken and I were traveling a few weeks ago.  
The robin is a symbol of light.  And Lucas' name means light.  It is also the symbol for hope and the bringer of new life, since it is often the first bird spotted in the spring time.  I tied some rainbow colored ribbons onto this, to celebrate Doug and Susie's anticipated new baby, making Lucas a big brother.  This symbol of hope seemed particularly fitting to me since Jesus has been speaking hope into me over these really difficult last two years.  In the midst of this great loss it seemed impossible to imagine having hope.  But each day there seemed to be a new measure of hope.  Jesus knew exactly what I needed and every day I had just enough for that day.  

Just as we did last year, we are sending Operation Christmas Child  boxes in remembrance of Lucas.  My five boxes are sitting here next to me, awaiting delivery on collection week.  Every little trinket and toy, every crayon and health supply is packed with prayers for that little boy who will receive them.  It's just a small way to honor and remember Lucas.  

None of us knows exactly what God's purpose is for our life.  Or how He might use us to fulfill His plans to love the world.  I am convinced that the length of our life - the number of our days here on earth - doesn't matter at all to Jesus.  He sees the impact of each person in ways that we can't begin to fathom.  As I was standing there, thinking about Lucas, I was remembering this......

A tiny pebble, thrown into the water, makes rings that go on and on and never seem to end.  It doesn't take a big rock to do this.  Just a tiny, small bit will cause this effect.  Lucas has made an impact on our family that will never end.  His life changed all of our lives.  Because of our love for Lucas, because we are standing together and going on, because of that impossible hope, we will remember and his life will make a difference.  

Jesus, thank you for your great gift of hope - even when we feel totally hopeless.  Holy Spirit, continue to give Doug and Susie strength to walk on another day.  Bless them with peace and that extra measure of hope each day.  Thank you Jesus for your loving arms that hold us when everything around us seems to be shaken.  Thank you for your great love.  Amen 

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