I finally found the crack in Matt's defenses when I raised the subject of love. He was a hardened atheist. We were friends and conversations about faith and philosophy were not uncommon. Calling him smart is an understatement. Science and math were fun to him.
The first time I met my wife, we were both on dates with other people. I use "dates" loosely. We were in junior high and I invited a bunch of my friends to go eat downtown and attend the Nashville Knights hockey game -- there's a rich irony in Katrina and mine's first time together being a hockey game.
"We'll find each other," I told Katrina. We were picking out burial plots for our family. Nobody leaps with excitement about that conversation. We were deliberating whether to secure burial plots for three of us (Kaleb, Katrina, and me) or five (our daughters Kaleigh and Kyra included) of us. We never pondered that question a week before.
The first day of my sabbatical was the last day of my son's life. Writing that sentence is still strange. I struggle to believe it's true. But it is. I created my sabbatical plans months in advance. But my plan did not match God's plan.
I read John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion (this edition) in 2019. My Worship Pastor, an elder, and I read it together and shared our insights via a text message thread. Our reading plan made this task manageable over the course of the entire year, breaking the two-volumes down into five weekly readings.
I don't want to think about the flood of emotions that will bombard me on his birthday. I don't want to envision Kaleigh (10) and Kyra's (6) weddings and try to imagine the glaring absence of Kaleb's presence. Those things - Lord willing - will happen one day. But we don't need grace for sadness fifteen years from now. We need grace for today's.
Good intentions and sincere hearts do not make wrong actions and false teaching any less destructive. This is a lesson everyone must learn. The grief and sorrow the parents and Bethel church community have over the death of sweet Olive is tragic, but the tragedy has only just begun.
My son did not live one more day than God planned; and he did not live one day less either. This truth is one I keep returning to each day as my family and I grieve the death of my son, Kaleb. He was 15 years old. Trials and afflictions marked his life.
My family has spent a lot of time in the hospital. I mean a lot. My son, Kaleb, has spent more time in the hospital than anybody I know. From the time he was born, until the present day, hospitalizations have been a common part of his life. Hospital stays have ranged from a day,... Continue Reading →