Friday, September 23, 2011
When The Ground Shakes
I get up early in the wee hours of the morning to bake the cakes for my son turning five, when it hits me - I am celebrating a birthday with my son, a blessed year of joy with him, while another mother travels to receive the remains of her son, shot in the midst of battle in Afghanistan.
It doesn't seem real - this moving on, when others are standing still, praying for that call, hoping beyond hope that somehow they are wrong, and it was someone else's boy.....
I push blue frosting across a chocolate cake shaped into a rocket, just like my little man wanted. We paint the body of the real rocket he plans to launch into blue skies on a Saturday afternoon. The mother travels to watch the ceremony of the coffin coming off of the plane. It may be the same blue sky, the same Saturday afternoon. Her son is twenty years older than mine - twenty more years of building a man.....
This boy of mine - who will he be? Will he want to serve his country too? Will I be able to let go? When it is another's child, and I respond that "this is not the end of her son's story, but the beginning" - would I believe that too when the coffin comes off the plane, draped with the flag? Could I find rest in that moment? Would I look to Him, who holds all things together?
Another cousin heads off to Afghanistan next week, and I have no words. Sometimes courage eludes us when the ground shakes hard. I pray for courage for him and for the mom of the fallen soldier. We press on, the cousin fighting his battle, the mother burying her son, and I raising this boy. And in each moment, we find strength and peace in Christ alone.
Deuteronomy 33:12 “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”
May Jakob be at rest between His Shoulders, and Elias be secure behind His Shield.
At the foot of the cross,