It could have been a birthday celebration. Happy Birthday to our middle daughter.
Instead, we went to the cemetery.
A Thousand Little Deaths
If Kali had lived her first day, and the day after, and the day after, I would have been more eager to live those days, too.
But instead, when she died on Day 1, November 13, born premature and with severe problems, part of me wanted to die, too.
Don’t we all die a thousand little deaths throughout our lives? Don’t we all collect bruises on our souls?
The author of Psalm 118 certainly had his own little deaths. He knew about prisons and enemies and destruction. He (and the Hebrew people collectively) had been pushed hard.
But at this point he had not been handed all the way over to death (Psalm 118:18).
Others had died. Why not him? Why not me? Why not you? Why not yet?
Resurrect One Slow Breath at a Time
It took me awhile to understand why I was still living without my baby to care for.
Resurrection is sometimes instantaneous. But sometimes resurrection only comes one slow Spirit-breath at a time.
For me, resurrection was one small thing at a time—a friend bringing dinner after my C-section, a sympathy card in the mailbox, a flower left on Kali’s grave.
And resurrection was one person at a time—a gentle hug, a conversation mentioning Kali by name, an empathetic ear.
Each small thing reminded me I had big reasons to still be here.
- I had my husband Jeff who loved me (and was grieving too),
- my 4-yr-old daughter Morgan who needed her mommy, and
- a God determined for me to know joy again.
(And unknown to me, another reason to still be here was on the horizon: a third daughter, Jenna, later to be conceived, born, loved.)
It is for the living we stay. For the loving. For the Lord.
You Still Have Purpose
If you are here reading this—as I am still here writing it—the Lord still has purpose here for you, too.
Even if you’ve come to the very rim of death, or are in crisis of a little death even today, know that God kept you from falling over the edge for now, for a reason.
You still have . . .
- living to do
- love to give
- praise to proclaim
God can empower a thousand little resurrections over your thousand little deaths.
So even though I am sad today that Kali has not been here in the flesh for 26 years, I can proclaim with confidence along with the psalmist in Psalm 118: “The Lord is powerful!” (Psalm 118:15 CEV)
Even when I don’t understand death, I can trust resurrection.
I have lived to tell what the Lord has done.
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Do you know why you are still here? You are here to love somebody this week. Someone is here to love you. Please share in the comments.
Updated from the archives
- 3 Spiritual Books on the Enneagram
- Is God Good? 3 Ways to Find God’s Goodness