“No one can think death is more awful than it is.
It is those who think it is not so bad that need correcting.”
– by N. Wolterstorff in Lament for a Son
Yesterday, we were sitting at the table and I told Jessie I wanted to show her a picture. I pulled out a photo from the recent “Joy of Jessie” blog where she is driving her red car and her dress is stuck in the door. I asked the question, “Who is that?”
“Judson,” she responded with a smile.
“No, actually Jessie, that’s you! It’s Jessie Girl!” I energetically replied. “But, you do look a lot like your brother, don’t you?” affirming her thought that it could also be a picture of Jud.
I continued chatting about how humorous it was that her dress was stuck in the car, but her mind seemed to be elsewhere. So I stopped talking and simply went back to checking my email.
After some silence, Jessie piped in with a carefully composed question. “Can I go see Judson?” she inquired.
Her question hit me like a Mack truck.
Oh, how I desperately long for Jessie to see her brother, just as I hunger to hold him myself. And I wanted so badly to answer “Yes!” probably more than any other question I have ever been asked, but I couldn’t. I have absolutely no power to give Jessie her desire.
This powerlessness, stemming from death, is unlike any other—complete and final separation this side of heaven, leaving one without any ability to reverse the impact of a beloved life taken from this earth.
And Jessie’s longing to be with her brother is something so good and healthy. It is right for her to want to see him. Yet, evil has snatched away all opportunity. Death is the climax of wickedness, seeking to destroy all that is good; in our case keeping a brother from his sister, a son from his father and mother, and a boy from growing into a man. Death is the epitome of everything awful!
However, the fullness of wickedness found in death cannot squelch the conquering life found in Jesus Christ.
“Jessie, we cannot go see Jud right now,” I began, “But he is in heaven, and we will be able to see him when we go to heaven too,” I uttered with intense emotion but also filled with genuine hope.
Death is vicious, but it will not be victorious!