Last night, a friend of mine suffered a deep loss. His son, RJ, was eleven. RJ was an energetic and funny kid. His father, Richwood could not have been prouder of his son. I don't think I ever saw them apart. Everyone loved seeing them at Spartan football tailgates. We marveled at what a great relationship they had. Everyone who knows Richwood knows that he was an amazing father to RJ and that he loved him more than anything in the world.
A few days ago, RJ suffered a severe asthma attack. He slipped into a coma for several days. We all prayed for him. He was constantly in our hearts, but he did not wake up. I cannot completely fathom the depth of a loss that takes a kid with so much future ahead of him. My heart has been quite heavy with it.
I've been thinking about our God. The God of the Universe. I've been thinking that He is so vast that no one can imagine his greatness, but in everything at once... even the very small things. I've been thinking that He knows every single one of us by name and by heart, and is planning beautiful things for our futures, even when we don't understand them... or when they hurt. His plan is like a pattern that looks just like chaos from up close, but from the right perspective is intricate and beautiful.
Our God knows RJ and Richwood. He was with them in the hospital, holding them in His embrace. For them, up close... and for those of us who mourn with their family, it all looks like chaos right now. But our God has already prepared the way. He has already made a beautiful pattern from all of the anger and fear and hurting. In a few days, we will celebrate the birth of His Son. The God of the Universe, who came as one of us to live a life filled with sorrow, and then to give it up to save any one of us who simply calls out to Him. The God who came to save us from death. He gave his life to save RJ, and now He is holding him closely, welcoming him to an eternity of peace.
His pattern is sometimes confusing to us, but it is ALWAYS good.
I've mostly been praying for peace... for RJs family and friends and for myself. We need the peace that wraps itself around broken hearts and buoys us up. We need the peace that is still but immovable and points us towards our God. We need the peace that only the Savior of the whole world can give to us. I'll keep praying for that peace as we celebrate His birth and the gift He gave that was much to big to put under any tree.
Merry Christmas to all and PEACE on Earth.