We received one of those phone calls today that comes from a most unexpected place. Because who ever honestly expects to answer the ringing or click open the text to learn someone they love has endured the unthinkable?
That the photos you saw on Facebook yesterday of a little girl placing a plastic crown atop the head of her baby brother, calling him "Princess Bubba" as he sat in his bouncer, those pictures that made you smile and warmed you with the love that Facebook-posting momma has for her precious little ones, that momma you saw at Thanksgiving nestling her weeks-old son in her careful arms, would be the last you would see of that toddler sister loving on her little brother.
When someone you love woke to a sunny Saturday morning, only to go to bed physically aching for a little boy that's not coming back into her arms. While my body squirms with the life inside bursting to get out, her body seeks the suckler that won't return, whose life has vanished too quickly.
How can this be fair? How can one not collapse under the weight of such a world where things happen we can't control and life changes without a moment's notice?
Only by the knowledge that there is a God in Heaven who nestles the little one in His arms - the little one we would all snatch back without a second thought, given the chance. And that God is our Rock. When nothing else makes sense. When the pain is great and undeserved, He remains faithful, the strength of our hearts, when no other strength can be found within us.
In this truth we hope. Without it we are nothing.
So we rest in that hope tonight. Lifting prayers for the hurting and asking peace for those to whom our human words are meaningless. Because we have nothing more to offer.