Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
“Not a hair on your head will perish.” Luke 21. 18
Earlier this week a dear friend of mine told me that his Godson died a day shy of being 2 months old. Two months old, not two years, not two decades, not two times two times two times two times two, no, merely 59 days old.
My heart sank. My heart hurts for the parents of this child, his siblings, his grandparents, Godparents and relatives. As I write this, tears sit in my eyes as I reflect on the gift of life we are each given and the brief moments which is 59 days, 29 years, 64 years or 91 years. No matter the length of life or the shortness of life – life is precious. That may should cliché to say, it may even sound controversial to some who read this, but if we fail to see how precious life is, we fail to see the goodness, the worth, the dignity and the holiness which is ours and in all of creation.
I can guarantee you that the parents of this child are keenly aware of how precious life is and are yearning to understand the gift of 59 days. I can guarantee you that each moment this child was held, caressed, whispered to, snuggled and prayed for he was filled with the gift of how precious he was for his brief journey here and how precious he is in the eyes of God. I can guarantee you not one precious lock of hair on his head that his mother gently kissed, that his father gently patted, that his sisters gleefully were amazed by has not gone unnoticed by them or by the kingdom of heaven. Yes, his family now walks the path of mourning and emptiness but that does not leave them in despair. The promise of knowing that “not a hair on your head will perish” is the promise made to us in the resurrection that of life eternal. Life eternal where suffering does not have a place, where mourning is not part of the vocabulary, where grief does not letters to spell itself out; this is the precious promise this family now ponders in their hearts.
We do not know how our life journey will unfold, how brief or how long it will be. We have no assurances except for the love of God. Even when we are sorrow-filled, even when we feel we have lost the way, even when our life seems to be in shambles, even when life as we know it has changed God’s love is ever present. God’s love can not perish and will not perish, for God’s love is woven into the goodness, worthiness and holiness of our DNA. How precious is that? It is 59 days precious; it is a life time precious, it is an eternity precious.
As the days grow longer and we move into the depths of fall and winter let us be aware of those who walk in the shadows of death, of those who seek light because their darkness seems overwhelming, of those who mourn and desire for warmth and light to break the darkness. Let us be mindful of parents mourning the loss of a child – no matter the age, of families mourning the loss of a parent who filled the home with light, of those who have no one to mourn them or those who mourn alone. Our prayers can simply be a light which reminds them of the precious gift of life that is beyond this earthly one we so desperately hold onto as precious.
Each story is precious. So many moments we have are precious (and so often they pass us by) and our God is here with us for “to be near to God is my happiness, to place my hope in God the Lord” (Psalm 72.28).
Rest in peace little one.
Perpetual light indeed shines up you.
May the souls of all the deceased rest in precious peace.