Our cell phone chimed with a familiar text alert. Even though my arms were filled with dead child I managed to maneuver the phone so I could read the message from another world. A place so very far away…
The unsuspecting text was sent to a small group of friends and was full of joyful caps and exclamation marks. We had been partnering together to host a valentine’s day extravaganza, and were in the final days of organizing food, dancing, decorations, activities, and invitations.
I blinked at the small screen in front of me and dully realized that this group text had provided me a concise list of trusted friends – it was organized and accessible – and as the follow-up texts began to roll in, I knew our village was out there… somewhere…
My numb fingers stumbled over letters, spelling out words that I was certain no one would believe. In my utter shock I had no capacity to soften my words or give any sort of explanation or context… I was barely able to translate my tiny whimper into a text message at all:
Friends. I have no words. Graham is dead. We are at the hospital now. Please please cry out to Jesus for us!
To read those words now, makes me sick. I can taste the ugliness in my mouth, I can feel shards of pain in my toes. I’m so sorry that those words left our hospital room and travelled into your lives. I’m so very sorry.
I truly couldn’t think past the send button. I knew these people were trustworthy… but I also wasn’t convinced that they even still existed, for suddenly the world didn’t extend past our ER room. However, as you might imagine, these were some of the first people to pour into us. I didn’t think to expect it, but within minutes they mobilized – texts were sent and phone calls made, probably much more than we were ever aware of…
Before I even realized I was empty, we were being filled up – the first wave of life-giving, sustaining love was flung at us with full force abandon… One half of each family came to us that night without prepared words or gifts – no plan at all – they just showed up. These precious people found us where we were and engulfed us in sloppy, ugly heartbreak. We were covered with prayers of lament, while the snot and tears of God’s people flowed out.
And so it was, that we began the first night of the rest of our lives drenched in the power of love. And so it is, one whole year later, love keeps showing up. Over and over again. There is always just enough.
Thank you. From the bottom of me, thank you.