I received a phone call this morning from my sister-in-law, Becky, and found out that our niece, Kate, had stopped breathing in her sleep last night and they found her blue this morning. CPR and a 911 call didn't save her. She passed in her sleep at the age of 19 months. There is no known cause. She had a cold recently, but nothing serious. There seems to be no ryhme or reason. My wife was Kate's god-mother. Rob and Becky's kids are like surrogate kids to us, spending half their time in our home and we love them as our own. This is really hard to understand.
I spent my day doing the best I could to be the Spirit of God to Rob and Becky. I walked with them through having to talk about funeral arrangements, picking caskets, choosing cemetary lots and putting together a funeral service. My Father-in-law decided to purchase lots for all 3 of his kids' families, 20 in all together. So today I stood on the place on earth where they will bury me with my wife and children as well, that's quite an eery feeling.
When we planted Ordinary Community Church 4 1/2 years ago, we never wanted to bury one of our children. Its not right, its not the Kingdom of God. Its not the way its supposed to be, everything about it is wrong. I reject death, I oppose it, I hate its stench. I hate the look of pain I saw in the eyes of Rob and Becky today. I so wish there was something I could do to take their pain away. Somehow, God remains patient to let us mourn. I am so weary of crying and the general feeling of sorrow. There was nothing to prepare us, no illness, no accident, nothing. The suddeness is overwhelming.
The funeral will not be until Tuesday because of the holidays. So as best we can, we will celebrate the birthday of Jesus, without first having closure on the passing of baby-Kate. It will not be an ordinary Christmas. Lord, teach us to grieve well.
I will try and lead the funeral on Tuesday. Our theme is not of despair but of hope. We don't know the answers, but we rejoice in life. You see, life is our revolution, we are the People of the Resurrection. Hope and Joy are ours in Christ so we are claiming them. Friends, if you think of it, pray for Rob and Becky, we need a Kingdom Community.