And this is why I say I'm a little on the excessive side when it comes to empathy... but then again...maybe I'm not. Maybe we are meant to be this tuned into each other and yet the world draws us apart and culture expects us to be hardened.
Thanks to Sara, I was able to read about a wonderful, brave little boy named Thomas. You can do the same, if you haven't already, by viewing his website.
My heart is in wrenching pain from reading this story...mostly because I realize its not a story. I realize there is a family now that is burying their son. In an hour and a half. There is a mom nearby, someone I could have easily walked by in a grocery store or at the mall just weeks ago, who is grieving the loss of her baby boy.
Nothing seems important. Not my stupid job or education or car. Not our bills or dirty blinds or whether or not my hair looks good today. I have a beautiful, smart, intelligent son who is as healthy as can be. My husband came home from work last night.
Why am I so fortunate? Why am I so selfish that I take these things, the important things, for granted? From what I can tell, never having met this family to my knowledge, they want to feel free to remember their son and the joy of loving him. And yet how many of us are guilty of scolding our kids because they wanted another hug before bedtime or because they decided to "help" us fold the clothes (that were already folded)?
And in my world...life stops. The sorrow is enormous. I can't get myself motivated to move on and continue with the life I have in front of me. All I want to do is to go back to my son and husband and spend another day laughing and playing and loving.
Yet in a short period, the reality is that I will be distracted with the things of this life enough to continue on with the life we have together. Knowing that by grace alone I have my life and that of my family and friends. At any moment any of it can be taken away and life as I know it can change.
I ask that today you comfort the Bickle family. Teach others around them to let them grieve. Teach others how to support them and let them laugh when they are ready. Bring peace in their home and restore the joy only you can bring. Allow the memory of sweet Thomas to beam through their hearts and minds in a way that brings abundant joy.
I ask that you teach us all how to love like you do, with the Bickle's and within our own families and within Your family. Thank you for making us all stop and realize that our days are numbered and yet you are still in control. Thank you for allowing me to share, if only a tiny bit, in the life of Thomas Bickle through the openness of his parents in this world wide web. Thank you for letting me experience a tiny bit of what someone in their shoes may feel so that I can be grateful for what I have and remember what is important in this world. Forgive me for taking your gifts for granted.