As we were reading through various stories in Jessie’s Toddler Bible this morning, we came upon the story of The Widow’s Boy.
I read through it like every other story…
Why is that poor woman crying? Oh! Now you can see! Her boy has died. Those people will bury him. But look! Here comes Jesus. What do you think He will do? “Please don’t cry,” said Jesus. Then He touched the boy’s coffin. “Get up!” Jesus said to the boy. The boy got up. He is not dead now! Jesus brought him back to life. That’s why the woman is so happy.
But when I finished the story and started to go on to the next story, Jessie asked me to read it again…so I did.
Then she asked me to read it a third time. I started to read the story yet again when Jessie interrupted with a question, “Where is the boy, mama?”
“He is in that box, Jessie. It is called a casket,” pointing at the picture of the coffin being carried by a couple men.
“He is dead?”
“Yes,” I replied.
Silence. Jessie sat next to me in the bean bag chair, deep in thought.
“Do you know a boy who died?” I asked.
“Yes. Judson,” she responded. “And you’re his mama who cried and cried.”
“Yes, I am, Jessie. Yes, I am. I still cry, don’t I?”
I finished reading the story for the third time and Jessie requested yet another reading of the story. And so I obliged her again. After reading the story for the fourth time, Jessie sat quietly. It was clear she had many thoughts racing through her mind.
We sat in silence for awhile and then I inquired, “Whatcha thinkin’ about, Jessie?”
“Judson.” Then another long pause. “I miss him. I really want to see him, to be with him.”
“Me too, Jessie. Me too,” feeling a heavy pit in my stomach remembering all our cries to Jesus that He would restore our boy to life and health, just as He did this widow’s son.
But He didn’t.
However, I realized for the first time, after reading this story today, that my heart has become more settled with this reality. I have been coming to terms with the fact that God did not choose to heal Jud. Much of the spiritual wrestling over that issue (though I am still wrestling with many other issues) has dissipated. It seems that time is allowing me to accept that God had/has different plans for our family than he did for that widow. The story of The Widow’s Boy did not evoke the same feelings that it used to.
Interestingly, I think I have a little girl that might just be starting to wrestle with this reality.