Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Saturday, October 30, 2010

God is Still in the Miracle Game

The night is low, go to sleep.
The moon shines in.
Before you know the sun shines again.

Hush my child.

The wind is still, go to sleep.
The trees all sigh.
Clouds on the hill hide a starry sky.

Hush my child.

Now don’t you dare hear it.
Don’t you hear it in the quiet of the night.

The light is gone, go to sleep.
We all need rest.
Dreams to drift in if dreams are best,

Hush my child.

All that has been, go to sleep,
Lies in my heart.
Nothing can end this life I start.

        Hush my child.

Now don’t you dare hear it.
Don’t you hear it in the quiet of the yard.

No, you don’t hear it.
You don’t hear it where the stone stands guard.


--Lullaby to Michael, born 1964 - died 1964. 

His body lies beneath the stone of his grandparents in a quiet country graveyard. His soul is elsewhere.

Death is part of life.

There is precious little about life you can be sure of. That you are going to die is one.

And everyone who enters into your life is also going to die, some will die after you, many will die before you.

When someone close to you, whom you love and who love you, dies it hurts and you mourn. But when you suffer many such mournings then you realize you have been truly blessed because you had so many loved one to lose.

You must not stop living when a love one dies. They would not want that. They would not want the responsibility of carrying your life to the grave with them.

Would you?

It is always difficult when a child dies. It is out of order. 

The reality is nothing in life is that orderly and nothing is certain. Except we all die and we can be old when we do or we can be young when we do.

My children were very young when they did.

And when you go through seven promises, which die before fulfillment; when some are but a blink and a breath and a warmth you hold a moment before they are silent and cold, you wonder why. 

You think it unfair, you think it cruel.

But what do you know? Perhaps the true cruelty and unfairness would have come later if they had lived. Perhaps you were spared far greater heartbreak than that immediate lose.

There can be anger and depression, but it must not become selfishness and self-pity. It can not linger into bitterness. It has happened and it is done and it won't change. You cannot allowed the tragedy to compound itself with your own self-destruction. 

And you must not think the impossible is impossible.

Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:17-20

When the seventh child died, the one we had much hope in, the girl we called Amy, it was the end of the road. To travel that road to the same place again was the definition of insanity.

Even worse than closing off that road was my wife had already dropped off the side into a ditch. There is depression and there is DEPRESSION! When you are already a manic-depressive how much further can you be pushed down into that mire?

Yet, in that labor room, that week, I heard God in the heart beat. I didn't believe in any God before we entered that hospital, now I did. And if there was a God, couldn't he help?

Where do you go to call on God? You went to his house. There was down the road from us a brand new church. It had just been built, had just begun to have services. We had no idea which church, but it had a steeple. It had a big cross on the front. It looked a lot like the churches around where I grew up. It was worth a try, wasn't it? Things couldn't be much worse. She wouldn't leave her bed. She wouldn't stop crying. She talked of suicide.

"Why don't we try church again?" I said.

She wasn't sure, but she agreed and on Sunday we dressed up in suits and ties and dresses and bows and drove down the hill to the new church.

We were warmly greeted, something we had not experienced several years back when we tried churches on for size. Those churches had rejected us before we rejected them.

We were handed bulletins and went down to a pew past halfway. I glanced at the paper in my hand and these words jumped out as if in red neon lights, "An Independent Fundamentalist Church."


Nutcake fanatical bible-thumping Holy rolling snake-kissing your going to Hell, fire and brimstone you no-good sinner you push you up against a wall waving a tract beneath your nose blind faith anti-intellectual Fundamentalists is what ran through my mind. I wanted to bolt out of there, but things had started and I didn't want everyone staring at me dragging my wife up the aisle. Why, oh why hadn't I sat us in the back.

And after a lot of singing, joyfully as if they actually meant it singing, this odd looking Pastor was saying, "Elijah was a man just like us..."

It was strange? Everything that man said after that was about me. How could he know about my life? Could there be something different for me? Could there be hope for us?

Why was I raising my hand when that pastor asked if anyone needed prayer at the end of the service?

On Tuesday, September 7, 1976 I was on my knees in my den praying to someone I had long ago rejected as myth. My life was never to be the same.

Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people.
He settles the barren woman in her home 
as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD. Psalm 113:4-9

We were going to discover when all hope is gone that God is still in the miracle game. We were also going to hear some things nobody wants to hear on the way there:

"Your wife can never have a child of her own. Her history has shown this. It would be impossible for her to carry a baby long enough to be viable outside the womb and her previous loses have totally weakened her to a point she would endanger her own health, and possibly, life if she tried."

"Honey, I'm pregnant."
"But you said you definitely had your tubes tied this last time."
"I lied again."

"I'm sorry, we can't accept you as a patient with your history..."
"No, I'm sorry..."
"Your wife is putting herself at great risk, you should be ashamed..."
"The only thing I can recommend is an abortion..."

"We fear the baby's lungs are too underdeveloped to sustain life, but we can't continue to forestall labor any longer..."

"We are moving your baby to another hospital; although we do not expect her to live through the night..."

"If she lives she will be blind and extremely mentally impeded..."

Next time: How miracles happen.



Glynn said...

Beautiful post, I say with tears in my eyes. All the pain and hope and heartbreak -- all if it comes right through.

togetherforgood said...

I cannot wait to read the next installment. His ways are not our ways.