I’m sitting at my desk focused on the work I’m trying to finish. My 3-year old son climbs into my lap and snuggles against me holding an airplane made of Legos. I love early morning snuggles with my treasures. He turns his face toward mine and looks into my eyes. That’s when what I thought was routine cuddling turned out to be so much more.
Crash: Were you thinking about your other son yesterday when you were crying?
To him, “yesterday” means “any time in the past”.
Me: What other son?
Crash: I don’t know but you talk about him sometimes.
Me: You mean Timmy?
Timmy is his older brother who died during pregnancy 4 ½ years before Crash was born. Obviously, he’s never met him.
Me: He’s in Heaven with Jesus.
Crash: (Thoughtfully) Does he stay there?
Me: Yes, honey. He does.
Crash: Why does my Lego jet keep breaking?
After a brief discussion of Legos and how to keep them together & rebuild when necessary, he climbed down and scampered off to eat Cheerios. Don’t be fooled by his size. This kid usually downs 3-4 bowls of cereal every morning and then reappears before the breakfast dishes are done to request a “snack”. With 8 children whose bellies all seem to have their own unique rhythm, it seems as if someone is always eating around here. I might have even been heard to declare, “The kitchen is closed!” when I can’t seem to finish cleaning it before someone else makes a mess, but only once or twice . . . (a week). But I digress.
This less-than-a-minute conversation brought a sweet smile to my face on many levels. I wrote our words down immediately so I wouldn’t forget them and have been thinking it over. What was it about this discussion that made such an impression on me?
- I am utterly amazed that a 3-year old was even able to pick up on the nuances necessary to form those questions. The human mind continues to surprise and delight me with its intricacies and connections. We are wonderfully made, indeed!
- I love his child-like faith. He simply accepts what he is told no matter how strange it sounds. I’ve been pondering Matthew 18:1-5 this week.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
As I’ve grown older and decided that my experiences didn’t seem to line up with the grandiose promises of God, I’ve allowed doubts and questions to supersede His Truth in my heart. Oh, to retrieve that child-like faith that trusts God’s heart and takes Him at His word without the desire for proof!
- His seamless transition from questions of eternity to questions of plastic blocks was disarming and charming. At the point I thought I might dissolve into tears of grief again, he cracked me up and called my heart back to my children who are still with me. The ones who still need me.
- I am struck by the frailty of life and Legos. Both can fall apart so easily and without warning. Just like my son brings his broken Legos to me to put back together, may I always remember to take my own brokenness to my Heavenly Father who can restore all things.
- His question about Timmy staying in Heaven really got me thinking. I’ve often wished I could have Timmy back here on earth for myself. I realize now how selfish my thinking has been. My son is in Heaven! Intimate communion with the Creator, no pain or tears, perfection unmarred by sin, a life untainted by the uglier side earthly existence, never-ending light, seeing Jesus face to face, every need perfectly provided for—why would I ever want to tear my child away from that? It brings me comfort to think that if Timmy and I could choose we would probably consider the options and determine he’s better off where he is now than with me. As much as it breaks my momma-heart to say it, I believe it’s true.
Yes, my beloved son—stay in Heaven.
Someday I will join you there
and I can’t wait to hold you
and listen to everything you have to tell me.
Until then, know our distance from each other
does nothing to diminish my love for you.
Sometimes loving best means letting go.