May 11

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He is Not Here

By Jessica Allen

May 11, 2018

faith, grief, infant loss

It was the crisp cool morning of a South Texas November. Quiet, slow footsteps collected on the cobblestone path as our family gathered to lay our son’s ashes to rest in the marble columbarium wall, tucked away in a garden at the church.

With gloved hands I clutched the brushed gold box close to my chest. It had lain silently on the fireplace mantle for two days. He was there… but not there. And so was I. Present in body yet vacant in spirit.   Numb to all save the salty sting of swollen eyes and the suffocating weight of a broken heart.

We stood closely together in the chill of the morning as the church bells rang. Hands were held, words were spoken, life was celebrated. The vast blue sky hung frozen crystal clear over that holy ground. As our pastor reached for the little gold box containing my entire heart and soul, I imagined how God must have felt in that dark hour on Calvary. How burdened he must have been with the impossible task of handing over his Son to someone else – everyone else. And in that moment I finally understood His limitless love for me. As I struggled to release that precious box, into my empty and open hands flooded love and peace that simultaneously broke me and set me free.

And so my littlest love rests in that beautiful wall. There… but not there. Why do we look for the living among the dead? He is not here!

Praise God for his infinite love that reaches the depths of our wounded souls!

Heavenly Father, thank you for wrapping me in your love, even when I do not understand your plan. You know the cry of my heart. Be with me always. Amen.

Suggested long reading: Luke 24:1-8

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” Luke 24:5-6, NIV

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV

Jessica Allen

About the author

Jessica is a writer, musician, entrepreneur, wife, and mom. Jessica's mission is to write "real" - shining light into the dark places of the tough stuff we all experience. She and her husband Jack live in Houston, Texas and have weathered the storms of grief, infant loss, adoption, and a marriage that almost fell apart. Jessica and Jack have four children: LJ in heaven, Grace, Jackson, and Elisha.

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