Reflections: The Loss of a Child

Last week I went to the funeral of a 14 year old that was killed in a house fire.  I don’t know the exact details but I have heard that the house caught fire, the mother went back in looking for her youngest son and this son followed her back into the house.  She was burned very badly and this son was burned alive.  Thankfully, the youngest son survived.

I knew the young boy and had just emceed a church program where he read a poem, “If Jesus Came to Your House” (see below).  The moment I walked into the funeral service, tears began to stream down my cheeks.  Although I did not have a personal relationship with the boy, I could see his face and still hear his voice.  All I could think about was how the mother must feel.  Nothing that anyone has ever told me or that I have ever experienced has prepared me for the potential loss of my son.

As a mother, you do everything in your power to protect, nurture and even spoil your children.  We foolishly assume that our children will outlive us.  We pray that if God does take their young lives that they won’t suffer.  This young boy suffered what I imagined to be one of the most painful deaths and his mother could not save him nor could she be there for his farewell ceremony because she is still in the hospital recovering from severe burns.

Sometimes I get a little irritated when my son does certain things but I just look into his little eyes and thank God for him.  All of our days are numbered and none of us know when our expiration will occur but I pray that God will allow me to outlive my son because I cannot imagine a greater pain than the loss of a child.

If Jesus Came to Your House by Lois Blanchard

::: read by Demetric Toliver (1995-2010) on Sunday, February 28, 2010 :::

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two –

If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you’d do.

Oh, I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored Guest,

And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best,

And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there –

That serving Him in your own home is joy beyond compare.

But – when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door

With arms outstretched in welcome to your Heav’nly Visitor?

Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in,

Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?

Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard

And wish you hadn’t uttered that last loud, nasty word?

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?

Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?

As I pray for his mother and their family, I find serenity in knowing that her kids were raised in the church and that they know God is their heavenly father.  I pray that he is now resting in peace, as any child struck by death’s mighty force should…


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