Wednesday, January 30

7 Days : Heavy Hearts : Christ's Sufficiency

A week ago last night was the new beginning of life as I now must get to know it. Amber had spent most everyday the previous two weeks visiting old friends, new friends, and family. She was actually on her way from a cousins home to eat dinner with her father, when her life was abruptly cut short and ours in turn, changed forever.
Her parents were near enough to be on the scene within minutes. The people who stopped to help, were able to think with great clarity and quickness. From what I hear, the folks at the hospital that night were simply amazing with my children. Needless to say, it is all just hearsay to some degree for me. Having not 'lived' through it, only hearing others tell about it and relive each detail, I can imagine in some small way what it may have been like, but then again...not really able to comprehend it at all.
I was oblivious to all that was happening as I attempted to sleep some forty-thousand feet in the air high above Libya, North Africa. I was not just unaware for a few moments, but for exactly 24 hours, I was planning, preparing and looking forward to seeing my family again. Now, it is possible that I could have found out in Amsterdam during the layover. But I had friends and family who were/are committed to my best and that, without a doubt, even in hindsight, was obtained by restraining the news from me until my arrival. Amber had planned to pick me up at the airport and have dinner prepared once we got back home. She had a welcome home gift already wrapped.
Wednesday night looked quite different from my plans or her plans, and for many of you too, I assume. I was met at the airport by my brother-in-law, my pastor, and a friend of 23 years. They broke the news. It seemed like a dream. In so many ways, it still does. Friends and family were at the house upon my arrival there, but I could not get Ellie and Isaac off of my mind. Isaac was doing well, and still is. He will never know experientially what he lost in Amber. Ellie had fallen asleep on the couch, so I had to wake her discuss some of the realities of what had happened. I was given the privilege of actually notifying her of the results concerning the accident. She seems to remember the accident itself in some parts. Her rendition is, "a car hit us, we tumped over, Mommy hit her head and closed her eyes". There was a lady on the scene immediately that saved her from seeing more than that. Praise the Lord for His kindness.
Thursday was crammed full of all the stuff that has to be done in these situations. I felt like I was 12-hours from finding out the worst news possible and now I have to spend a day with bad used-car salesmen. Needless to say, it was not enjoyable, but then again how could it be. On Friday I tried to rest, knowing in some small measure what the evening would bring. The first sight of Amber in two weeks, only now, without life. That night some eight-hundred people filed through to pass along greetings, condolences and the like.
The most difficult part of the evening was hands down taking Ellie in and attempting to explain at still another depth the implications of death and physical separation. In the car on the way, I reviewed some catechism questions with Ellie:

Who was the first man God made? Adam
Who was the first woman God made? Eve
What did God make Adam from? The dust of the ground
What did God make Eve from? One of Adam's ribs
What did God give to Adam and Eve as well as bodies? Souls that would never die
Do you have a soul as well as a body? Yes. I have a soul that will never die
How do you know that you have a soul? Because God tells me so in the Bible

Then, upon arrival I continued that theme to explain that this is merely the body that God gave to Mommy to live in, but her soul is with Jesus in heaven for ever. Of course, it was a terribly difficult conversation, not unlike others that have come since or will come later.

For your sake and mine too...I will split this into parts. I will continue from Saturday onward soon.

I cannot express how I appreciate and still covet your prayers.