Monday, January 19, 2009

One Year Ago

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found.
He is my Light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
firm through the fiercest draughts and storm.
What heights of love! What depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my all in all,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

It was a quiet afternoon when Brian walked in the door, home over an hour early from work. He didn’t say anything, but I knew by the look on his face that when he would speak it would not be good news. It wasn’t. Their baby didn’t make it. Died before it was born. The words hung in the air for several long seconds. I didn’t understand. He had to repeat words to me no one should ever have to say.

In Christ alone, who rook on flesh,
fullness of God in helpless Babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died
the wrath of God was satisfied;
for ev’ry sin on Him was laid,
here in the death of Christ I live.

It was only days ago he was alive, kicking and tumbling around in his mother’s womb. But this night she gave birth to a baby who made no cry, no protest at being brought into the world, no objection to the bright lights and loud sounds and cold air. And they held him that night, trying to soak up a lifetime of cuddles, kisses and images. Trying to hang on and let go all at the same time.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
up from the grave He rose again!!
And as He stands in victory,
sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His, and He is mine,
bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Brian and I went very early on Saturday morning to see Collin - the one and only time we would see this little nephew on earth. We embraced his parents and cried. The nurse rolled in his little baby bed. Inside there was a quiet little one, who looked very much asleep, but who never squirmed or whimpered. We watched him silently as our tears blurred his image. His fingers did not curl around his daddy’s finger when he held it. He did not protest as his daddy adjusted his little cap. Everything about that moment seemed so...wrong.

No guilt in life, no fear in death:
this is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
can ever pluck me from His hand;
till He returns, or calls me home;
here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

As we sang that chorus at church Sunday morning, the day after Collin was stillborn, we sobbed. The tears were rolling down our cheeks and we choked the words out of throats that seemed to be closing. He had no first cry and no final breath, but Jesus commanded his destiny. And in the midst of all that pain and all that sadness, there was a great and wonderful hope that this was not the end of Collin’s story. That there would be a great and glorious home for him with his Creator - the one who formed his tiny body and the one who carried him to heaven when the wages of sin took away all his tomorrows. But nothing, no not even death itself, could take Him away from Jesus. And if there is an ounce of comfort in this tragedy, it is that someday Collin will come to life again.

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