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Grace in a Graveyard

The God of Resurrection

I’d like to introduce you to Abigail. She is a precious child of God. And she is a part of a special family. Special to us–her parents are my Ella’s Godparents. But that isn’t the only thing that makes them special. Their family is a testimony to the grace of God and His presence in the midst of His people. God does not leave us when we are in our darkest hour. He doesn’t leave us ever–but we can often loose sight of Him in those moments. Nick and Megan, Abigail’s parents, went through their darkest hours a number of years ago. Their first born, Noah, was born into this world and into the arms of Jesus on the same day. Heartbreak, anger, confusion, and overwhelming grief–and those where just my emotions.

The gap in the hearts of all of us who love Nick and Megan remains. But, even in those days and in the days, months, and years that have followed, God continues to prove that He is our hope and our strength. I still think of Noah from time to time. And I still celebrate the ways in which this family has found a new normal. To be sure, a big chunk of Nick and Megan died with Noah. But, ours is a God of resurrection. And this is the point of today’s story.

The Kiss of a Blessing

Every night before my kids go to bed I trace the cross on their forehead and remind them, “Jesus loves you and so do I.” It has been a touching ritual that holds us together and forms us in our faith. It is a natural and meaningful element of our family life. As such, I teach it to others–along with the rest of the Faith 5. Noah’s family adopted this practice as well. We all blessed his sweet head before he was laid to rest and their family continues this practice as well. Kids are sponges. They soak up the things around us and they adopt and adapt them into their own practices. It is remarkable to watch.

Abigail joined her family on a visit to Noah’s grave plot this past week. As they always do, before leaving, each member of the family traced the sign of the cross on Noah’s tombstone. It’s a way to stay connected to this special big brother and the way the family continues to be reminded that all of us–living and at rest–are loved and embraced by Jesus our King. But Abigail did something different this week. It wasn’t Noah alone who received those promising words. It was every stone in the whole place. Just watch and see…

A friend of mine, pastor Matt Musteric, just shared these profound words. “Jesus does not come to make bad people good, but dead people alive.” This is our hope. This is Noah’s hope. This is your hope. May you be reminded today that. Jesus Loves you and so do I. And that His love holds you tight throughout this world. And His love does not disappear upon your deathbed. In fact, this is exactly when His love starts picking up steam. So, go and be a blessing today. Go, be like Abigail. I know I’m trying to be.

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