I was planning to write a reflection of the past week, thinking of the usual mix of ups and downs that we all deal with to one degree or another. But my thoughts have been tempered by quilting blogger Rachel who on Tuesday published ‘Eleni’s passing’.
I began following Rachel’s blog when her baby, Eleni was a couple of months old. Following birth trauma Eleni had severe physical and developmental disabilities that gradually became more and more apparent as the weeks went by and milestones were not reached. Rachel’s posts are always eloquent but sometimes very hard to read. She shared the few highs and many lows she and her family were experiencing as they witnessed Eleni’s physical pain, took her all too frequently to hospital and made the long trips to therapists. Rachel used her sometimes brutally honest posts as part of the process by which she came to accept Eleni’s poor prognosis. (The many heartfelt comments that appear at the end of those posts increase my belief that online communities are real and can offer genuine support.)
It feels a privilege to have looked in on Eleni’s short life and through Rachel’s honesty to gain some understanding of what it is like to care for and come to terms with having a child with such complex needs. That is a priceless legacy to come from little Eleni’s short life. You can read Rachel’s eulogy to Eleni here.
At this point I did begin writing about some events in my quilting week but they really don’t sit right with the above so I shall save those for another day and close with a couple of Bible verses that have been on my mind. These are in no way given as platitudes or offered as cold comfort. There are many situations where words (any words) are not the appropriate response. I share these verses to describe the sure hope (not new age-y wishful thinking) that Christians firmly believe.
From the beginning of time God knows us:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139)
God’s plan for us reaches into eternity:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21)
In this present age it is impossible to love and not experience suffering; I’m thankful for God’s love for each one of us that extends throughout all time, before conception and beyond death.