He was laid down for an evening nap and awoke in the arms of Jesus.
The past 5 days have been filled with heavy hearts, tears, sleepless nights, organizing meals for them, questions of why? and constant prayer. Luke and Shelly asked Darin to read a poem and speak a few minutes at his memorial yesterday and I wanted to share the poem and Darin's message with you all.
I believe that it is possible to live an easy life. I do think that it is possible to go through life without experiencing the pain of loss. Everyone will lose in this life, but there is a simple way to avoid the pain of such a loss: avoid the risk of love. You see if you go through life detached: not caring, not striving, not loving, the risks of pain become relatively small. Since you care about nothing, there is no way to lose something that you care about. This is a safe way to live life.
However Luke and Shelly have chosen a risky way to live their lives; they have chosen to love. They have chosen to love God. They have chosen to love each other. They have chosen to love their children. They have done this in an absolutely remarkable way. They are absolutely committed to living this love every day. My wife and I have often commented about the almost palpable love that Luke and Shelly have for their children. You can see it in every aspect of their lives. You can hear it every time you talk to them. You can feel it every time you see them together. In every way that a parent can love their children Luke and Shelly excel. A cool result of this love is the way it is passed to their children. Their children love their friends and their children love each other. It is amazing to see the way children can learn to love by living in the love of their parents. I guess ultimately that is the reason that Luke and Shelly chose to love their children the way they do…because they first saw this love demonstrated by their heavenly Father. You see God knows the risks of love. He knows the pain that can come when you care for someone deeply. You see, because God so loves all of us, he gave his only son that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. It is this love that God has shown to Graham that will allow all of us to continue on, because we know that on Wednesday as our worlds were changing, Jesus was in heaven saying “Let this little child come to me, and do not hinder him.” Graham has now returned to his true home. I expect that he felt very comfortable because the love that he was feeling from his Heavenly Father was so very familiar to him because he had received so much of it from his family on earth.
Graham William Carpenter is loved.
On Wednesday evening the Carpenters experienced the pain that was a result of a loss of something so precious and so loved. And while this pain and this grief is so real, I do not want to talk about it much more right now. There will be other times to speak about this pain, but I do not feel that this is the right time. Because the fact that can bring us hope right now is that the love the Carpenters feel for Graham was not CHANGED to grief on Wednesday, it was simply joined by grief. The Carpenters love for Graham didn’t leave or lessen that night, and it is still every bit as strong as it was before that moment. Though there is grief, there is still the outrageous love that Luke and Shelly have chosen. Though there are tears, “love remains.” And though it is very, very dark we have hope because “love never fails.”
The Carpenters have chosen the most excellent way. They have chosen love. They also will continue to choose love. They have loved Graham. They will continue to love Graham. We will all continue to struggle with questions and emotions. We will mourn. It won’t be today, but we know that in time this pain will fade and these three will remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
And the poem that Shelly picked out:
To All Parents
“I’ll lend you for a little time a child of mine.” He said,
For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead,
It may be two or three months, or twenty to thirty years,
But will you, till I Call him back, take care of him for Me?”
“I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there, I want this child to learn
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him home again?”
“I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, They will be done.”
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay;
But shall the angels call for him much sooner than we planned.
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.
It's hard to know why all this is happening. Hard to know why the Carpenter's only got to have their baby for 3 months. Hard to know why so many people have unwanted pregnancies, have abortions, abandon their kids emotionally and literally and the Carpenter's love little Graham so, so much.. but one thing I do know is that God HAS and will continue to be glorified in this process. At his memorial we already know of one person that accepted Jesus into their heart. One life here on earth was being born again and Graham was being reborn into eternity. Already know how many parents are loving on their kids just a little bit more because of this. And I know that Luke and Shelly will help out countless people who may go through something similar in the future. I know it.
I'm asking with my blog readers to pray for the Carpenter's as they learn new family life without their baby.
Pray for his older siblings James (4 at the end of the month) and Lauren (2).
Pray for their marriage because we know that there's nothing more that the enemy wants to cast doubt into their relationship.
Pray for their pain. Pray that happiness will return soon.
Thanks... I love you guys.