Christmas and Heaven
Does anyone else love “Charlie Brown’s Christmas”? This year, I decided to try and do the Advent thing with Caleb. Tonight, we lit our candles, and instead of reading scripture or one of our Christmas books, we watched that classic cartoon. I can definitely identify with poor Charlie and how he feels depressed at what Christmas has become. And then, sweet Linus… he takes center stage and reminds everyone what Christmas is all about.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”
I saw the saying at the top of this post earlier this week, and it really resonated with me. I wish I could describe what that awful I-miss-her-so-much-it-hurts moment feels like; it really does actually hurt. In the beginning, it literally caused me to double over in order to keep myself from breaking in half. Now, three years later, I can stand straight and tall on the outside when it hits- and I can absorb the shock-wave that spreads through my insides… only because I ask and allow God to carry part of it for me. I don’t have as many of those moments now… but they seem to be concentrated in December and February with those being the months Hannah Grace went to her eternal destiny, Christmas, and then the day she was born. Those months represent both the absolute greatest and unimaginably tragic days of my existence.
Yesterday, Caleb went to celebrate his little friend’s birthday. Anytime we talk about birthdays, it seems to make him curious about how old his sister is. So, we had that conversation again yesterday. He asked how old Hannah is, and I told him that she was four when she died, and that I’m not sure if she’s still four in Heaven or how that works. He seems to have trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that she was older, but he has now passed her in age (I have trouble wrapping my mind around that too). I reminded him that, in Heaven, we don’t get really old… or sick… or sad. He said, with his bouncy little southern twang, that “sissy just gets to visit with Jesus!”. I told him that was exactly right…. and he told us that she just gets to visit with him every day. It is so terribly gut-wrenching to try and answer his questions… but at the same time, so incredibly amazing and comforting to see child-like faith at work.
So, this Christmas, I am going to try and focus on the fact that Hannah Grace is getting to “visit with Jesus”… and that surpasses anything we could have ever done for her here on earth. I can almost see her now- she is healthy… healed… with her shiny, wavy hair flying behind her as she runs… straight into the arms of Jesus.