Friday, June 1, 2012

The Echo Back

Last week, we were able to take a family trip to the beach for a few days.  I thought you would appreciate that we both made good time and also “made good time” on our way to coastal Georgia.  :)  

It was a truly redemptive moment to be able to take Daniel to this special place before his first birthday (on June 6th!) and to have the opportunity to “introduce” him in another way to his older brother, Warren.  This is where Warren is “planted.” (This is the way we refer to his burial, see Isaiah 61 at the end.  Also click here to read our original CaringBridge post from his burial/planting.)

No, we don’t always understand the Lord’s ways.  So often, we have felt we inhabit Plan B, our minds swirling with what if’s, shoulds, and comparisons.  However, due to God’s sovereignty and our desire to rest in His Love, we acknowledge our life to be HIS Plan A… We breathe this…in and out… even when we don’t feel it.

We appreciate our visits to Warren’s planting site.  For his first visit, Daniel wore the same outfit John wore as we planted Warren almost three years ago this coming August (6 months following his death). The outfit says, “Best Friends,” and thus represents my hope for my children in the years upon years upon years they will spend together in heaven united with their Savior.

As Warren’s headstone reads, he is more alive than every before (D.L. Moody).  I pray we can all experience this abundant life…. expecting with great confidence to be renewed by the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).  If things are broken, then the truth holds: God can and will make all things new.  As we breathe in suffering, God breathes on our behalf and fills our lungs and life with redemption. 

Starting early... 

Living the good life!
It was poignant that this was also our first visit to our family’s plot in the cemetery in which Warren was not alone.  My dear grandmother is now planted there as well.  In fact, Mimi was the one who told us we could “plant” Warren wherever we wanted and the term stuck, deeply touching our souls.  Here is what I journaled following our visit to the cemetery: 

“I thought it would be even more profound to see physically – with these earthly eyes—that Warren isn’t alone.  But what rang back to my heart is that he never was.  Yes, the reminder Mimi’s headstone brings is sweet (if aspects of death and loss can ever be sweet), but it confirmed the truth that was there all along.  Whispering back… “Warren is mine. He is never forgotten. Embraced in eternity by me and so many.”  The great cloud of witnesses… For none of us is exempt from death.  Not one.  And with all the years that have passed on this earth, I’m the one in the minority—not Warren.  I’m the one waiting among the few, he with the throngs.  As the hymn goes, “Hallelujah.  Oh praise Him.  Hallelujah.”  The chorus echoes.  You are whole my child, surrounded by the saints, by the glory, by the multitude that has come before and continues to come.  God is “I am” – eternity encapsulated in His own name.  We are His, united despite the earthly confines of linear time.  Yes, in His goodness and kingdom purposes He gives us His worth, His pursuit, His action plan here and now.  BUT, this is just the beginning.  Merely a blip on the radar screen.  But what a beautiful screen it is.  I sit on the beach, taking in the majesty… the rolling dunes, the glimmering tidal pools, my ears alive with the waves’ commanding presence…  If this is the mere “screen,” the glimpse, the clouded mirror –  who can stand? Who can imagine the sights and sounds our glorified eyes and ears, our untainted senses, our able bodies will take in.  THIS is Warren’s reality.  It is also mine now, even in a glimpse.  The Kingdom of God is at hand.  At hand.  Within reach.  Do we have the eyes to see?”

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
Isaiah 61: 1-3

In other news, my brother Cole graduated last Saturday from high school!!  Congrats, Cole!
Cole with William and his beautiful girlfriend who I have loved getting to know!


  1. Beautiful post, Mary Liz. Great photos, too; your boys make excellent beach bums. I can't believe how big everyone is... John, Daniel and COLE!!

  2. Chills all over. Seeing Daniel at Sweet Warren's spot was beautiful! Such life there! Love you guys too much!