Tonight, in the same country cemetery where we’ve laid our loved ones down, we added another little grave. Mighty Mack Shiery, my niece, Carmen’s eagerly anticipated son, died a month short of his due date. There was a tiny grave, carefully dug by Jeffrey, his grieving father. A small alabaster colored coffin was in a plain wooden box that was also built by his daddy.
I thought tonight about the incongruities of life and death, and wondered once again, how we can sing at time like this, through the tears hot and bitter, filled with all the broken dreams of a young Mama and Daddy. But sing, we did. “It is Well With My Soul” and “Jesus Loves Me” and “Lift Your Glad Voices.” I listened to Mighty Mack’s sister, the one who gave him his name, and heard her two year old voice, singing with all her might in a voice as clear as the hot May evening sunshine, “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible Tells me so . . . ” and the tears coursed down my hot cheeks, thankful for the reminder that “the children know!”
Lord Jesus may we all know . . . and believe!
Little Boy Shiery
You slipped away and
Left behind the shell
Of your earthly existence.
No one knew that you were leaving.
No one saw the angels pick you gently
From the warmth of your Mama’s body
And carry you into the presence of Jesus.
Little Boy Shiery
So many earthly dreams disappeared
In the split second it took
For you to go from darkness into
The Ethereal Light.
There, in that Land of Perfect Day
You skipped the stage of Helpless Humanity
To be whole, complete and alive.
Are you laughing? Talking? Running?
Did your curly red hair go with you there?
Are your eyes a beautiful blue like your sisters’?
Have you met people there who know you?
Did your Great Grandma hold you to her heart
In gladsome welcome?
Little Boy Shiery.
What is a wondrous beginning for you
Is a heart rending ending for those
Who have loved you from before your first heartbeat.
The grief is raw and the sorrow deep.
There are no answers to the questions
That pound our hearts with unrelenting anguish.
And for the pain to which
Our humanity binds us
We plead the Grace
That carried you safely Home.