Today should have been beautiful. It was 72 degrees and sunny, and there was a cool breeze that was too perfect for a day in the normally muggy month of July. …But today was the day we buried our babies.
Our babies had not been birthed, in fact, we had just gotten to the point of telling people… and then we lost them. While we never got to hold them in our arms we did witness their heart beats; and from there we began to form dreams for them, we began to plan out how we would handle two bundles of joy. So there we were on this otherwise beautiful day, with other would-be parents, mourning over what might have been.
We broke the bad news a few weeks ago, primarily because we did not want to have to pretend that everything was okay and we needed our church to pray for us. Since then people have asked us how we are doing and I have not known how to answer… until today.
The whole ride to the cemetery, at the graveside, and on our way home, I have had a song stuck in my head. It’s a song (or, more appropriately, a Bible verse) I sang with my church when I was a kid.
“He gave me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. I am a tree of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, and His name is glorified.”
The song comes from Isaiah 61:3. Remember that moment when Jesus opens a scroll in the synagogue (Luke 4) and reads about the Messiah from Isaiah, sits down and says “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing?” That’s the start of Isaiah 61, Jesus is the “he” in that song, “he” is the beauty, the joy, the garment. I confess that I had always sung that song with the mindset of “now”(He saved me, forgave me, took my brokenness and is making me whole), completely forgetting that God’s economy also has a “not yet.”
That song was in my head today because we had placed our babies and our broken dreams into a box and laid it in the ground; but we did it with the fullest expectation that one day they will be beauty, they will be joy.
*I have been sitting on this blog post for a couple weeks now. I wasn’t really sure if I should post it to the website because I thought it more personal than pastoral. I confess I also felt like I was just buried in grief and I didn’t want more attention brought to that grief. But I decided today to post this because we all mourn, but for those who have Jesus, we do not mourn without hope. Someday, my friends, someday there will be beauty for our ashes, there will be joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. That someday is seen now in Christ our Savior, and it will be revealed completely in His glorious return.