Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why He came

"My son died."

That's what Mitzi said when I called her back. Just like that. "My son died."

Before I could pull into the parking lot I began to sob that deep, soul coughing sob that I've only done a couple of other times in my life. Which frightened my children. But my cell phone had died, so if I stepped outside the car, I would be unattached from the umbilical cord that connected it to the life of the cigarette lighter. The children began to cry too. We all cried, all of us questioning why, in the parking lot of the Kinkos.

In between sobs, I heard that the baby I had just cooed to days earlier through the layers of cotton and skin that separated me from him had quit kicking her. She went to the hospital on Sunday, and they confirmed it. He was gone. They cut open her womb and removed his body. He was five pounds one ounce. He was beautiful. He looked perfect. And he was gone.

Born still. Born into heaven. Born asleep.
He died.

She has grieved well, my friend. She grieved well from the very beginning. I've never felt so blessed to call another woman friend as I have felt blessed to watch her grieve. She's been prepared for this her entire life. Her God revealed Himself to her long before this and she knows Him. She knows that He is good even in this shadow of this very, very bad. She clings to Him desperately as she wades through this season.

But now the holidays are here, and he is not. He would be four months old, if all had gone as we thought it would. He'd be chubby. Maybe cutting a tooth. He'd be smiling a lot. He'd even be laughing. He'd be dressed in a little red Santa suit and Mitzi would be struggling over what to buy an infant for Christmas. He'd be a joy.

But he's not here. And the grief comes in waves. Tsunamis of sorrow. And the joy is hard to catch. And if it is caught, it only lasts a moment before it slips away again.

Everything reminds her of him. Everywhere she sees baby boys who belong to other mothers.

I stand in church and my husband points to the list of poinsettias. The one I paid for weeks ago says In memory of Christian Graham Wells. Memory. I bury my face in my husband's jacket and cry. Then I erase the smeared mascara with a clean white little boy sock because that's all I can find in my purse as the words of a Christmas carol I've known all my life sound completely new to me:

Mild he lays His glory by
  born that we no more may die
  born to raise us from the earth
  born to give us second birth

THIS is why He came.

He came, as a baby, because babies die.

Babies typically smile at six weeks old. I assume that by the time Mary brought Jesus to the Temple, her Son had just redeemed His first several weeks of sleeplessness by finally smiling at His mother. And at that smile, Mary, who could not believe that she could love Him any more, immediately loved Him more.

Knowing the crippling power of this love myself, I have often wondered how Mary responded when she proudly presented her beautiful Son to Simeon, and he told her, And a sword will pierce your own soul too. I imagine the smile sliding off her face as her heart begins to pound and she questions why.

THIS is why he came.

He came as a Son, because sons die.

And, like Mary, Mitzi is well acquainted with the aches of a soul piercing.

But the Baby who smiled and walked and talked - who did all the things Christian did not do - He also grew into a Man who proclaimed that God was within reach, available to be grasped and clung to and for that, He was crucified. He died.

But after he was murdered and buried, this Son of Man rose again. And He goes to prepare a place for us - He had already prepared a nursery for Christian - He has also prepared a place for Mitzi and for me and for you where we will one day hold the living body of her baby son while we behold the living body of Mary's Son and then, then we will find joy in the complete understanding that THIS IS WHY HE CAME.

Hark, the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!


  1. Hi Missy,

    You write beautifully. This is a heartbreaking story, but your comparison of Christian and Christ's birth is a redemptive one.

    Thanks for sharing this...I'll be praying for Mitzi and her family.

  2. Amen. Emmanuel...God WITH us. This post made me cry. May He bring peace to your friend.

  3. Heartbreakingly and beautifully expressed -- you've captured a mother's grief and the world's hope all in one breath. Thank you.

  4. Amazing post, Missy. It made me weep.

  5. I am also weeping. I love your words. I love this blog. So beautifully written.

  6. Tears. Prayers for Mitzi. So beautiful, Mis!

  7. I'm so sorry to hear of your friends loss. Despite many miscarriages, I have never felt the death of a living, moving, named child. We've never been that far. I can only imagine. Her sadness echos in our hearts tonight as we continue to mourn the loss of our "what if" children and the pain that comes with each departing foster child. We weep for her and pray God's peace and joy would consume her once again. Your blog has been a source of inspiration, godly counsel and flat out hysterical joy. Thank you for sharing your life so honestly and for loving those surrounding you so deeply. He came. He died. Heaven waits. And He is risen indeed!

  8. I can't say anything that the other commenters haven't already said. We are redeemed.

  9. My heart aches, but also rejoices because your words are so very true....

  10. Amen and amen. This post took my breath away. Thank you.

  11. You are a very good friend to continue to mourn with Mitzi. Too often friends and family stop thinking about and asking about how parents are doing after a loss. It may seem awkward to you, but I can guarantee that your friend is still thinking about her baby and would probably love a chance to talk about him/her. It will be 9 years in March since my baby girl, Bethanne, was born into heaven.

    Here is a Bible verse I "discovered" recently that has come to mean so much to me:
    Isaiah 65:20a (in the middle of the description of the new heavens and new earth) No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days.

  12. how can am mother's heart not break into a thousan pieces just at the mere thought?
    i have had two friend lose their precious ones at birth..there are no words, but oh there is Jesus..that doesn't mean the pain absolves whatsoever--I can only imagine it never goes away. But it does remind me of the important truth that you have said so well-- He will carry us through..and that this life is a blip,a mere dream.. until we meet thos that we have longed to hold..
    great post. love your words. keep on.

  13. That hymn always gets me too. Now even more so after reading this, wow!

  14. speechless. You left me speechless but with lots of tears.

  15. This is absolutely beautiful!
    I just celebrated the 4th Christmas without my son - he too was stillborn. It's such a tragedy, but by the grace of God I stand here today and choose to magnify God! I only have two choices - magnify my loss, my hurt, my pain, the whole in my heart that happened when my son died...or magnify God, the grace He has given me and my family and friends to get through this tragedy, the peace He has brought to our lives, the comfort he has provided...for it is only by God's grace that I am healed - there are scars, but the wounds have healed. To God be the glory!

  16. My heart aches as I see my Hannah in HIS arms as is a hurt that will always be with me.....but knowing that God is still GOOD ALL THE TIME...hard to swallow. Thankful we serve a Savior that came for us to die & rise again for us!

  17. We buried our son, Colin, nearly five years ago. He was stillborn the day we moved across the country to take a new ministry position. Your post resonated deep in my soul. I learned more about my Savior through my son's life and death than any other event in my life. Finally, God is using that experience to help me reach hurting Mothers who have lost a child and possess no Hope.

  18. I read, I wept, and I rejoiced, all at the same time. Thank you for showing us your compassion, your friend's grief, and our hope in Christ all in one amazing post. It is a joy to read your insights.

  19. This post makes me cry ......... tears
    of sorrow and tears of joy ~
    Thank you Jesus for your never ending
    love ~

  20. That is beautiful, Missy!! You are a precious friend to Mitzi. And she amazes me. She not only grieves graciously, but is ministering to others in the midst of her grief.
    I especially loved that you said, "He had already prepared a nursery for Christian..." :) Such a beautiful, comforting image.

  21. Left me weeping...I will pray for your dear friend. Thanks for sharing. Starting my day with new persceptive now! In Christ...Tammy

  22. This post is huge. True, sorrowful and deep feeling. Not what I was expecting on a cold January day, but a good defroster for my chilly heart.


  23. Thank you for writing such beautiful words that I can share with friends who have lost babies. I love you.

  24. Heartbreaking. Yet beautiful.

    Thank you for this post. It was needed on many levels.

  25. I got shivers... and tears... reading this post. Thank you

  26. What a sad, but poignant story. Your writing is beautiful and I'm glad that I found your blog.

  27. This is a beautiful post, Missy. Thank you!

  28. Y'all, please join me in praying that Mitzi get pregnant NOW - she had to wait six months since it was a c-section, and it was 6 months on Tuesday. We need some new baby joy so desperately!!

  29. Wow. This is beautiful writing and such a beautiful message. May the Lord bless you and your friend Mitzi.



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