Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In His Hands

"These scary spiders are going to go away now."

He had been 'scaring' me with these silly plastic toy spiders for most of the day. He being my just turned 5-year old son. I often wonder if he would be so focused on my attention if his sister was still alive. It hits me like that: not just how my life was suddenly thrust into the spotlight of unknowns, but how his was, too.

We all know days pass, decisions are made or not made, choices turn us this direction or that. Our lives are a constant stream of unknowns. What if I hadn't dated that person? What if I would have stood up for myself? What if I would have applied for that job? What if I would have moved like I dreamed I was going to?

But these types of unknowns are the shadows of our lives. The ones that stay in the background, stepping forward only when called.

Whereas, the what if my child was still alive? unknowns stand bold and tall, center stage, with the spotlight shined on them morning, noon and night. There is no intermission. Actors may come and go, action continues around it, but that bright unknown never, not even for just a second, leaves the stage.

As time goes by, you learn to turn your eyes, focus on the action next to it... but it's still standing there. You still see it in your peripheral.

Would she have the same friends? 
What skills in gymnastics would she have obtained? 
Would she think her little brother was annoying or would she still be mothering him? 
What kind of student would she be?
What would she look like without her braces?
Would she still write handwritten letters to Ashley?

I snapped back to the here-and-now present moment and watched my son slink away on hands and knees, slowly pushing the plastic spiders in front of him.

"No!" I yelled out, feigning over-dramatized fear and terror. "They can't go away!"

He stopped, looking up at me with the strangest look of confusion on his face. "Why?"

"Well, because if they go away we can't see them and we won't know where they are!"

He cocked his head to the side, considering my words. "Yes, you will. Because they will still be in my hand."

He smiled up at me, his precious little boy face filled with absolute assurance. And off he crawled, spiders in hand.

It's amazing how many times God speaks to me through the voice of an innocent child. Because in that instant, watching this little boy disappear around the corner and down the hall I realized something. Something huge: even if I don't have the details.... even if I never see what the path looks like, or what is seen along the way - what is said or heard or felt - even if I can't see for myself and I can't touch for myself - I know where Avery is.... she's still in God's hands.

How can I not be comforted knowing that she's safe in His hands?



He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; 
he brings light to the deepest gloom.
Job 12:22