My precious little girl with Jesus, I can hardly remember how it felt to hold your tiny frame in my arms. I thought I would forget you, but you’re still with me every day. There are so many questions I want to ask you as I look heavenward. Do you miss me? I wish I’d known you as a grown-up girl-my dearest confidant and friend.
The longer I live, the grayer the line between here and hereafter. There’s my indomitable father-full of faith and cheating death at least twice every year. Just when he thinks he’s headed toward Home, God turns him around, marches him back to us and tells him he still has more to do. No matter what disaster or physical challenge he faces, he simply finds another more creative way to express his love for you. The consummate artist, he finds beauty where others fail to look.
And then there’s your Daddy. His earthly heart may not be strong, but it beats with a passion and power that few men have. He always sees heaven before him, and he’s never been afraid to go there. But like the Good Shepherd, I think he is still here because he’s so good at taking care of everybody else.
Your sister Brianna has seemed to walk so precariously through this world, touching heaven and fighting to stay here day in and day out. She spends her waking moments serving you tirelessly, but the more God uses her, the more she seems to suffer. But that doesn’t surprise you, does it, Jessie?
Earth-dwellers live in a fierce battleground, and those who don’t see it are simply looking the other way. Suffering must look so differently to you from heaven’s parapet. Hannah Hurnard in “Hind’s Feet on High Places” wrote that her protagonist, little “Much Afraid” could only reach the high places by grasping the hands of Sorrow and Suffering.
You see the glory side, don’t you Jessie? I wish you could have shared some face time with your baby sister, Bronwyn while you were here. Although I know you watch her, she must make you laugh. The pain she has suffered is the deepest and cruellest of all. Yet of all my girls, she sees the world most clearly and loves so honestly and deeply. Her pain has made her real. Her pain has made me strong.
As I ponder life and death and love and such, I long to see through your eyes. What must it be like to see Jesus every day? How wonderful must it be to never have an unanswered question, to fear nothing and no one?
At times, brief times during my day, I catch a glimpse of that shining place where you live and feel oddly homesick. Save me a place by your side. I’ll see you soon.