It was an ordinary day of buying milk and eggs and cheese and using the tucked away coupons for cereal and yogurt. Pushing the cart and getting a phone call; telling him she’ll be home soon.
Carrying the bags of groceries in. Hardly noticing the anguish in the eyes because the ice cream needs put away and the watermelon is too heavy for the tearing plastic bag.
She sits down to news so heavy that the weight on her chest is tangible, suffocating, exhausting. He speaks softly, “We lost Robbie today; at the river, with the current and the dam.”
Robbie is 32. He is an ox of a guy; strong like his dad, with piercing blue eyes like his grandfather, ours. I barely know him; my own cousin. Only that he is a good son and he makes people laugh and he loves Jesus.
And he is gone.
I cannot keep from crying. These tears fall scalding, one after the other. Why Robbie? I ask this, as if my other cousins are dispensable and I am ashamed.
I want to contest. Why must one mother’s heart reel with raw pain; hurts stacked in a teetering tower? She fights with Down’s and debt, a failing health, a second son, and now death. Yet she knows the ways of God much more than I. This is purposed; God’s way.
Perhaps this is why I cry. God’s goodness is here, but it’s so hard to see with tears in my own eyes. I wonder what God will ask of me one day. I hope I’ll be able to worship Him Who gives and takes away.
From cradled infant on hospital gown to buried son in the dirt of the ground. I have needed to be reminded that I have been born to die. Learning to live along the way is richer life found.
Dying daily to ourselves; living daily for Another.
With dirt under his fingernails and in his hands; With Love coursing through his veins, this cousin of mine lived.
And in his drowning death, there is more life than even ever before.
-Death has been swallowed up in victory. – 1 Corinthians 15:54
This much I know,