Sunday, six years ago today, we woke up to a dark, cold, morning in our mission country of Estonia. I remember my spirit feeling dark too. I felt weighed down and sad but didn’t know why. It seemed that there was a heaviness present in our little mission church too … among everyone … it was hard to explain.
It had only been a short time before that a helicopter full of soldiers had gone down in Iraq and many men were killed. My son and I had talked about it only days before. They were on my mind this day … them and their families, especially their moms. I asked for prayers for these families in my young women’s class and we talked about how difficult it must be on them.
We worshiped and sang together as a church, but I could not shake the uneasy feeling in my heart. We took a group for pizza afterwards and enjoyed great fellowship (even laughed about something funny our son had said the last time I had talked to him), but I still could not shake the uneasy feeling in my heart. We went home and rested … but the heaviness would not go away.
In the evening, still with a feeling of a cloud hanging over, my family and I, decided to ‘veg’ in front of an episode of Star Trek “Enterprise” (we’d been bonding over a full season of DVDs). I made some snacks and we snuggled and relaxed … and I felt better. A sense of peace and comfort had suddenly come over me and I rested peacefully that night. I remember us talking about how strange the day had been.
The next morning, we received a ‘care package’ from our oldest daughter … in it was a DVD she had been working on for more than a year … video from our last family gathering (with video greetings from all of the kids). We laughed at our son’s silliness and joked about the frame that was in the box (a replacement for a pic of him that had been damaged — a frame as big as one holding his younger brother’s pic because he had jokingly complained about how I loved his brother more, because his brother’s frame was bigger than his).
It wasn’t until later that night that we got the ‘news’ that would change our lives … the news that he’d been killed the night before.
Often times I had woken up in the night and prayed for him or felt a need to stop and cry out for his safety. We would talk about it later and I would realize I was in tune so many times with what he was going through. I am confident there must have been a war going on that day, not only in Iraq, but in the heavens and I was feeling that battle in my soul, but I struggled for a long time knowing that while I was in the kitchen making ‘snacks’ on that Sunday night, my son was in crisis and I wasn’t even aware. How could I not know? How could I not realize he was taking his last breath on a dusty road in Iraq?
I remember sharing this later with my oldest daughter and her words will never leave me. She said,
Maybe you didn’t know he was in trouble, mom, because he WASN’T in trouble … maybe you felt PEACE because he had just taken his first step into Heaven and that’s exactly what HE felt.
These words remind me and comfort me so often. Though he is not with us (and I miss him so much … more today than ever) and if given the chance to see him again, I’d grab the opportunity … he is walking in Paradise (and probably sky-diving too) and he is experiencing all that I ever wanted for him … the PEACE that passes understanding.
It’s true that
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. III John 1:4
especially when that last breath is taken, knowing that they are not only walking IN the truth but they are walking WITH the TRUTH (the Giver and Taker of life, the Creator of the Universe, the Sovereign God) in Paradise.
Life is short … Eternity is eminent.
God pour your grace on us so we don’t ever waste a moment! Pour your grace on us so that we may all know NOW and in ETERNITY the …
PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING