That’s my baby girl, my middle child. She is quite possibly the sweetest thing on the planet. To say that she lights up my life would be an understatement. She has one of the most tender hearts I’ve ever known (and I know her mom).
Yesterday, I was fixing breakfast for my girls and we were carrying on our usual banter. Somehow, my oldest and I started discussing Rusty, my old nemesis…errrr…dog (see here) and how, ahhh…old he is. Caroline is the polar opposite of Hannah, and she’s asking about when he’ll die and all that. I don’t think anything of it, until I come back to the table and find Hannah, head bowed, tears on her cheeks. When I asked her what was wrong, through tears I hear “I don’t want Rusty to die!”
Uhhhhh…great job there dad. Way to start the day!
Fast-forward to tonight. I took advantage of beautiful evening to get the kids out of the house and take a walk around the neighborhood. Along the way, we came across a tiny turtle in the middle of the street who had…well, lets just say lost a battle with a tire. This time, there were no tears, but it still affected Hannah. She let out an “Awwwwww!!!” And then she looks at me and says, “I bet his mommy is worried about where he is!”
This is my daughter, 4 years old, and these are her thoughts on death. Honestly, I think we can all relate. We rebel against even the thought of it. We empathize with the sense of loss that accompanies it. We understand, even from a young age, that it’s a separation that we can’t do anything about; it’s completely beyond our control.
Thank God, I know that this is not all there is.
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Cor. 15:19-20)
As Easter approaches, as the empty tomb yawns, I was reminded in my little girl’s tears that death has been defeated. After paying the price to redeem us, to save us from our sins, that awful and awesome sacrifice, Christ then conquered the last enemy, death, upon His resurrection. Because He lives, as the old song goes, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, because Christ rose from the grave, I don’t have to fear death.
As my pastor likes to say, Christians don’t die, they just move. Amen. Celebrate it this Easter, and everyday.