Friday, July 15, 2005

Glory Baby

For more background on this story, see This Post Is Not About Abortion.

Bernhard & Shirley's baby girl, Claire Elizabeth, was born on Tuesday afternoon... she was dead when she was delivered. Thankfully, Shirley did not have any complications from the delivery and is now recovering at home. The memorial service for Claire will be Monday morning.

Here's the deal... I realized Tuesday afternoon on the way to the hospital that I wished I didn't have a great relationship with the Ollech's. It's much easier to be "pastoral" with people you don't know very well - esp. in situations that are as emotionally charged as the imminent death of a newborn. But with this family... folks who we love to hang out with, whose baby we've babysat, who helped us camp last year, who have supported in ministry and in life... it cuts at my heart to see them in pain.

And then I found myself relieved that everything went as smoothly as it did on Tuesday. Shirley & Bernhard had private time with Claire after she was cleaned up, while Shari & I spent time with Shirley's family.

The toughest part right now personally is second-guessing my feelings: Am I too emotional? Am I too distant? Is it wrong to feel relieved that I didn't see Claire? Honestly, all of that stuff is just me staring at my belly-button... instead of growing in compassion & love.

I'm looking forward to the service - though I know it will be very difficult for Shirley & Bernhard. I'm looking foward to being able to speak truth & grace & love - to really be a pastor in this situation.

And then, like I said to them Tuesday night, we're in this for the long haul. Ministry to these folks will not just be doing the funeral & making sure they have meals for a few weeks - part of the joy & pain of being both their friend & their pastor is that we'll be walking through this stuff for a long time.

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..

You were growing, what happened dear? You disappeared on us baby…baby.. Heaven will hold you before we do Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you… Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday Miss you in every way But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you We will hold you You’ll kiss our tears away When we’re home to stay Can’t wait for the day when we will see you We will see you But baby let sweet Jesus hold you‘till mom and dad can hold you… You’ll just have heaven before we do You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…
"Glory Baby" by Watermark, from their album All Things New


Anonymous said...

I had a friend tell me about this song and your blog came up on google. I went through this experience in November and I can understand what your friends are feeling. It was nice to read what you said about how it is not over in a couple of weeks. Today I was cleaning out under the sink and found a pregnancy test. It all came washing over me again. I am glad to know that you will be there to help this family for the long haul, just like my friend. I don't know if it ever stops hurting, and families need help through this kind of thing for a long time.

Anonymous said...

I too lost a baby. Though I was only a few weeks along it hurts just the same. I heard this song for the first time today and it brought tears to my eyes.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Dear anonymous...

I am truly sorry for your loss. I wish I had the "perfect words" to heal your pain - but I don't. I simply know that Jesus knows your hurt and loves you.

You are welcome to contact me personally at fluffdaddy at g mail dot com.