Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Miscarriage of Jesse Malloy

Jesse
Copyright 2004 Mitchell Malloy

building blocks on the book cases
duplos strewn upon the floor
hiding toys in strangest places
how I miss all that and more
how I miss all that and more
sounds of laughter after bedtime
cries that woke me in the night
joyful eyes while pulling faces
how I miss you, my sweet boy
how I miss you, my sweet boy
has Jesus brushed away your sorrow
does He bounce you on His lap
as you enjoy His many graces
how I mourn my loss, my son
how I mourn my loss, my son
sounds of laughter after bedtime
cries that woke me in the night
joyful eyes while pulling faces
how I miss you, my sweet boy
how I miss you, my sweet boy
building blocks on the book cases
duplos strewn upon the floor
hiding… seek in God’s good graces
I shall turn and praise the Lord
I shall turn and praise the Lord!

sorrow, peace... not understanding
“God exists!” your name defines
finding joy within the sorrow
'til I hold your hand in mine
touch your face in Heaven's time

In 1999, a great tragedy hit the school where I worked. The 3 year old son of a co-worker drowned in a pool. This happened while the child was being watched by two of the most responsible kids I'd had the privilege of teaching. The father of the child had taught pool safety to prevent these types of tragedies from happening... yet it happened to them. The boy's name was Jesse, and the big question on my heart was "why?". Why would God allow this to happen? The parents and the babysitters were godly people. I coached the oldest boy in track. Why?

Five years later, my wife and I experienced a miscarriage. This baby was our fifth, and with my loss, I can't begin to imagine how others feel when the baby that doesn't arrive is their first. Still, my heart grieved.

My oldest son asked the question: Why do some people not believe in God? I told him that I honestly didn't know the answer for everyone, but that some people I talked to had basically decided they would be a better god than God.

Then my son asked why God would take this baby from us when all we wanted to do was love it? While I know God's character, I don't pretend know His mind. Still, I answered anyway: "Maybe God knew that we would love the baby for the time we had it, even if we never got to see it." That night, my son went to bed without saying his prayers for the first time in years.

Over the next week, I prayed about the incident, and every night my son did not want to say prayers. I didn't push it. I understood. As I prayed, the Lord gave me a name for the baby: Jesse. I talked to my wife about naming the child, telling her the name the Lord had given me. She liked the idea, and so being big on the meaning of names, I discovered that Jesse means "God Exists!".

That night, after telling the kids how God had given us the name for Jesse, including the meaning of the name, my son was again willing to say prayers before bed.

I truly look forward to seeing my unborn child face to face one day. Jesse taught me through our loss that God is sovreign and can make things work out however He sees fit... but that He still cares for me. I can't know the mind of God or understand all His many purposes, but I can trust that He does work out all things for good (Rom 8:28). He blessed us with another child, a son that resembles the oldest boy.

I also learned (and in truth am still learning) that when we hit bumps in the road with our relationships, that's the opportunity for them to really become stronger. This includes our relationship with God; perhaps it's especially true with God. As Henry Blackaby puts it, God always brings us to a crisis of belief.

Fortunately, He gives us faith to believe. (Eph 2:8-9)

sorrow, peace... not understanding
“God exists!” your name defines
finding joy within the sorrow
'til I hold your hand in mine
touch your face in Heaven's time