October 15, 2008

decisions made in a pickup truck

We crawled into the cab of the truck, the boys and I.  We had walked out into the parking lot at a pace that was a little slower than normal.  They had their reasons for shuffling, I had mine, but we shuffled out there together.

I hadn't told them the news while we were in the school building, because I knew it would make that walk feel just that much longer.  So I allowed them their own thoughts on the way down that 'gravel mile' and kept my thoughts to myself.  The opportunity to mull those thoughts over one or two more times wasn't such a bad thing anyway.  So we shuffled to the doors and hauled ourselves in.

I stuck the keys in the ignition, but hesitated to start the truck.  I wanted to get going -- to drive home right now -- to arrive at my destination.  I wanted to turn that key... but I knew that would only be postponing the inevitable.  Sure, I needed to start the truck and get going, but they deserved to know where they were heading.  So, I hesitated.

"I have some news guys.  Momma went to the doctor's office today..." 

*there was a long pause*  I knew the words, but I didn't want to say them.  It had been good news... good news... good news... And now this.  Sure, things had been hard the last several weeks, but we were always up to the challenge.  Making our own meals.  Cleaning the house ourselves.  It was always about looking after Momma.  What can we do to help her... She's sick.  It had been in every prayer.  It was on our minds all of the time.  Now, I had to say these words to them...

"When she went, they looked on the monitor, but they couldn't find the heart beat."

*another pause* I could see it in their eyes.  That slow recognition.  That realization that the thing which we had been longing for, that thing which we had been sacrificing for, that thing which had caused someone that we loved so much difficulty and suffering... that thing.  That thing which was now a person to us was no longer a part of our future.  The little dreams and discussions we had had.  The hypotheticals of how old each person would be at different times.  Those things were now invalid points.  I could see it in their eyes.  They were sad.

"What are you thinking?"

[oldest] "Well, I can see how some people just, you know, get mad at God.  But I know that is wrong, because God is good.  We can trust Him."

[me]"Yeah.  yeah...  Mommy was a little worried that you might get mad at God.  Even though she is so sad herself, she was still worried about you two.  So, you're not mad at God?"

[oldest] "No.  I mean, how could you be mad at God?  He always does what is good for you.  And that baby is in heaven now, and that is a better place anyway."

*another pause* True.  It was almost like he was saying, "You keep talking about this heaven place and how good it is... So, how could someone going to heaven be bad?  Right?"

[youngest] *with an intrigued look on his face* "So, since we prayed so much for this baby, does that mean that God is just going to make it alive again?"

[me]*sigh* "You know bud, He absolutely could.  I have no doubt that He absolutely could.  But I don't think that He is going to bring this baby to us, but one day we will go to it. "

*pause*

[me]"You know, momma was also a little worried that it might be her fault.  What do you guys think about that?"

*both give puzzled expressions* Then youngest gives irrefutable logic: (and I quote...)

[youngest] "That's not right.  We know that if momma was in control we would have two living babies.  But God is in control."

[oldest] *nodding in agreement* "Yeah, and He always makes right decisions."

Not how I was going to approach it -- but, -oh- so much better.  What a great perspective!

[me]"That's right guys.  In Psalm 19 it says, 'The judgements (decisions) of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.'  All of God's decisions are the right decisions, so if we trust in Him, the we can know that the right thing happened."

So, we all sat there, on the way home, in our old pickup truck.  We had worked it all out and we were on our way, as quick as we could get there to our 'momma'.  Three men, ready to bring our strength (and our joy) to the one who was hurting.