A Son is Gained, Another Lost

On Friday, June 13, we celebrated the birth of our third child, Evan Alexander. What a blessing it is to receive such a precious gift from God.

At 7:00 pm, we got to the hospital. At 8:08 pm Evan was born (very quick, I know!) At about 9:30, I was on my way downstairs to get myself a drink from the cafeteria when I ran into someone I knew, who is on the volunteer fire department. While I was talking to him, his pager went off, it was a report that a child had gone missing in the town where I live. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, other than that sick feeling a person gets upon hearing such horrifying news.

I left the hospital at 12:00 am and went to the office a bit to make the card you see in this post. Finished up around 1:00 and headed home for the night. The kids were at my in-laws, so was alone.

On my way home, two emergency vehicles passed me, one being a dive team from the Office of the Fire Commissioner. When I got into town, I noticed several trucks and individuals searching through the town with flashlights. I then drove over to where I saw several hundred people gathered at the man-made lake in town. I stopped and asked someone if this was still about the child that went missing. It was, so I asked if I could help. I signed myself up to help with the search, then went home and got some warmer clothes, better walking shoes and a couple flashlights.

I joined a team of about 25 people, who were walking through the fields surrounding the town. This was at about 3:00 am by now. As I walked through the fields, I was thinking about my newborn son, then about the fact that it’s quite unlikely this boy will be found alive. At about the same time that I was celebrating a new life, my second-born son, a father lost his youngest son.

I walked, hardly noticing what people around me were saying to each other, staring into the flash-light lit night, trying desperately to understand why God chooses to take such young lives. I think God revealed to me that, although it is important for us to celebrate life and mourn death, we also must realize that on the other side of eternity life and death will have so little separation, that we won’t even be able to distinguish between the two. This life is but a vapor that is here one moment and gone the next. God’s understanding of life and death is beyond ours, and we can’t assume that just because we think the timing of a boys death is terrible, that God made a mistake.

God gave me a son, a great blessing and a greater responsibility. My job is to take care of him in a way that honors the Lord until He calls him home. The father of the boy who went missing had the same responsibility, and I believe he took that responsibility seriously. The Lord called the boy home sooner than we would have liked, but we must accept death, just as we accept life.

At about 1:00 pm on Saturday, 20 hours after the search began, the boy was found in the man made lake. He had drowned near the dock early Friday evening. May God comfort the family and friends, and as the mourning continues, may God provide the family with an understanding that He was well pleased with the job they did as parents, and He chose to take their son into heaven at just the right time according His plan. I don’t understand it, but I know God’s hand is on that family, just as He had His hand on our family as our son was welcomed into the world.

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