Knitting a Prayer

In the last two years I have come to know of many moms who have lost their babies. A baby gone after only a few weeks in her mother’s arms, a miscarriage, a stillborn child – news of this kind breaks my heart. A woman I never knew before suddenly becomes so dear a comrade to me in that sisterhood of unbearable loss and I weep for her as I wept after my own miscarriage two summers ago. So when I was told of yet another lost baby, another mother who will never hold her baby this side of heaven, my heart broke yet again.

The square pictured above is for a quilt for this mourning mother. And though I don’t even know her name, as I knit each stitch, I prayed for her. I prayed peace and comfort. I prayed that she would be surrounded by those who know what to say and when to say nothing. I prayed for her family and her husband. I prayed healing and new life for her heart and her home.

When I had prayed all I could pray for her, I thought of other moms whose names I know and I prayed for them, too. I prayed joy for those in mourning. I prayed peace for those in turmoil. I prayed comfort for those whose hearts are still raw from the pain. I prayed healing for the families who are missing the presence of a crib and the sound of a new baby’s cry.

If you have your babies, then hold them. Thank God for them. Enjoy them.

And pray with me for those who don’t.

A Farewell to a Great Man

I don’t really feel like blogging today. I have nothing cute or witty to say. It has been a tough month already for me, and now this.

My grandfather died last night. He has been slowly slipping away for the last five years, so it does not come as a surprise. What does surprise me is how sad this makes me. My brain keeps telling my heart that it is good. The man that used to take his grandkids water skiing has spent the last years slowly slipping away, losing his abilities one by one in a slow decent into helplessness. I have been a part time caretaker and have watched him deteriorate. I am so glad that this long journey has come to an end and that he has been set free from his old, worn out body and is alive once more in heaven. I am glad for my grandma who has suffered by his side, hurting to see him hurt and hoping for a miracle. I am glad that, for those who believe in Jesus, death really has lost its sting. We will see him again. And then we will see the grandpa that bounced me on his knee, and that told me stories, and who would sing me to sleep around the campfire at one of our epic family campouts. The grandpa that I mourn is the grandpa that we lost when the strokes started chipping away at that great man. Now that his body has finally set him free, I know that I should be so happy for him. And, I guess I am.

But, it is a great man who is lost to us today. A man who touched hundreds, no thousands, of lives with his hospitality, generosity and faith. A man who spent his life serving God as pastor and mentor. A friend to anyone in need, a counselor to the hurting, a hero to so very many people. My grandpa.

I love you, Grandpa. See you later….

A Beginning and an End

Life has a beginning and an end. Only God knows how many days will be in between.

Sometimes, there are many. My great-grandmother died last month after ninety seven years. Her life was a blessing to so many and her passing was a cause for celebration. She had been waiting to trade in her old body for her new one. Widowed for ten years, Grandma longed to see Jesus and her husband. Though we will miss her, her ending brought joy.

Sometimes there are few. A long time friend of mine is carrying a dead child in her womb. A tiny baby that had never drawn a breath, already taken to heaven. An ending before a beginning. And we are overwhelmed with sorrow. It makes great sobs rise up into my throat just to think of it.

Cliches sound so hollow, but they carry meaning for me tonight. Count your blessings. Live each day as if it were your last.

And, I know that there are many wonderful women of God who visit my blog. Next time you pray, would you please remember my friend. May God comfort her through this ordeal.