When my newborn baby died 16 years ago, I didn’t talk to Jesus about it until 3 months later. Sure, I had prayed after she died. I had actually worshipped with hands raised the day she died. I felt the “peace that passes understanding” that day and many days later. We quickly accepted the fact that Trisomy 18 had riddled her body with abnormalities incompatible with life. We buried Victoria grieving, but at peace.
But everybody who has lost a loved one knows that peace comes and goes, ebbs and flows, wanes and waxes for months, even years. And that certainly happened to me. That’s why one night, as I wept in the privacy of my bedroom, I got on my knees to talk to Jesus about it.
“Lord, did you know my baby died?”
What a strange question. Of course he knew. But I asked it anyway because I wanted to feel it. I wanted to know it. Deeply in my soul, where the anguish lived.
And I asked because I was inspired after reading about another Mary who threw herself at Jesus’ feet after the death of her brother. ”Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11.32) Not long after that, Jesus wept.
So I needed to know if Jesus cried with me too.
I wondered if he loved my baby the way he loved Lazarus.
I wondered if he knew my mother’s heart was broken and bleeding.
I wanted to hear him calm the overwhelming guilt I felt.
Because I was still grieving and it seemed to bother my friends.
Because my prayers for a healthy baby weren’t answered and I was confused.
Because I refused to hold Victoria after she died, too scared to hold a dead baby.
Because deep down I felt glad I wouldn’t have to raise a child with special needs. It was my secret. I needed to tell someone.
I wept by my bedside, sensing Christ’s presence, his comfort, and his permission to grieve as long as I needed to. I came away knowing Jesus cared about little old me, and my 3 lb. baby girl.
Persons Found at Christ’s Feet is actually a topic in the back of my Bible. And as I ran across it today, I remembered my moment seeking comfort when I was desperate and hurting.
The lame, blind, and crippled also fell at Jesus’ feet (Mt. 15.30)
Desperate parents fell at Jesus’ feet (Mk 5.22; 7.25)
Sinners fell at Jesus’ feet (Luke 7.37)
Seekers sat at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10.39)
Tears poured out and ears opened.
Hands extended and hearts broken.
Seeking hope from the One who readily shares our every burden, whose feet were pierced that we might have access to them.
The floor, a sanctuary.
The dirt, a place of redemption.
No matter the need.