The process of writing is strange and wonderful and almost spiritual in a sense. I do not in any way shape or form consider myself a writer or a spiritual writer, I had to look up how to spell grammar for this very paragraph, and I am almost certain I abuse it every time I blog. I struggle with spelling, grammar and putting my thoughts in order and on page, but My mind thinks deeply about the world at hand and I am constantly pondering the things of God. By his grace he has given me some kind of mystical gift in the way that I am always either writing, rehearsing or telling a story and the bigger gift is the ability to always trace his hand in it. And so of course during this beautiful Christmas season I have a gift to share by way of a story.
Palm Sunday 2019 I was driving by the Cemetery, there I saw a lady standing at a grave. She was all alone and her head was bowed solemnly. I immediately began to weep, only because the grave is so final and I knew maybe if not exactly, some of the kind of feelings she was having. I said to myself , as if I was writing a story “you’ve got to leave the grave.” I started mulling it over in my mind, “next title of story LEAVING THE GRAVE!” I like most people I know want the party and none of the pain. So wouldn’t I be a prudent writer if I told a story about leaving the grave? Maybe not, because the grave is the gift and the grave sight is where life must be lived.
The grave is a present no one would open if they had the chance to, yet it opens ones heart to the reality of heavenly things not understood by people not yet gifted. Mornings after my sons death I would find my way to the back of the house and out the door to the patio, black coffee in hand and Bible on my lap, tears soaking into the thin paper pages of Job, Isaiah and the Psalms. Every evening when I had hopelessly stumbled through the day, back to the patio I went, Bible open heart poured out and a big glass of dark purple wine warming my belly, sometimes the smoke of a clove cigarette in my lungs. He met me there each day on the patio in my desperate longings for questions to why, longings for answers, longing to be able to see His plan. The plan that desperately wounded me. I remember asking Him time after time to transport me to Heaven just to see a glimpse of the Glory my faith knew of but heart couldn’t grasp. Prayers coming from somewhere supernatural drove deep into my heart and rose back up to the heavens never uttered from my lips but felt deeply to my soul. “The Spirit longs to make intercession for us.” The grave had a hold of me but could not hold me. I would have never longed for or clung to God so deeply like this if I had not experienced death.
Dying daily and yet living! Something very mysterious was starting to come into my view, or into my story. As I met God daily because of my afflictions He started showing me how much life there is in death. We die and are given over to death daily. Our dreams die our bodies die our parents die our expectations die our marriages die, its the reality we live in. We live to die! Is the story of the gospel written into our souls? The gift of Christmas is that Christ also was born to die. Our lives imitate that very story daily. He overcame death once for all and we will overcome death if we are his. The beautiful birth of Jesus that we celebrate every Christmas Season only leads us to the grave unless we believe that death has offered us a new chance to live. Death on a cross and a grave overcome.
I’m not sure yet of all the gifts of the grave and I embrace the fact that God’s ways are not my ways. I can say with much certainty that I would have never written into my own story the loss of my child, but I can say I wouldn’t for one second change it. God will be glorified even through death in my life and one day I will remember the grave no more and the gift will no longer be mingled with death and every day will be like Christmas.
4 thoughts on “The Gift of Christmas is the Grave”
Amy Jo, I wish you and your family a beautiful Christmas. May our gracious God continue to bless you with His insight. Love you! MJ
I hope your Christmas went as well as can be expected, I was and still am praying for you. Love you too!
So proud to be your father. I learn from you always. Pain to Joy, Joy to Pain, though memories of our boy remain constant. Love you dearly Amy Jo. Dad.
Thank you for reading and supporting me dad. He was a special boy!