There's a song my Mark Schultz that I love. Well, actually several. In fact, on our trip down to Atlanta, GA in 2002 as proud University of Maryland alumni to cheer on theTerps to victory as they won their first men's basketball National Championship, my friend Christina and I listened to his CD over and over... perhaps even for the whole 12 hour drive.
Mark Schultz sings "He Will Carry Me," the namesake of this blog. He sings "He's My Son," a song that tugged at my heart so much while I was pregnant with Isaac (and still does). But the one I was thinking of this week is called "I Have Been There." I won't cut and paste all the lyrics for you, but here is the last verse and the chorus:
An older man up on a hill
Holding flowers but he can't hold back the tears.
Oh he has come to say goodbye.
He thinks about the life she lived,
Thinks about how hard it's been to live without her
Sixty years right by his side.
And he cries, oh Lord I loved her till the end.
And he heard a gentle voice say
You'll see her once again.
I have been there
I know what sorrow's all about.
Yes I have been there,
and I'm standing with you now
I have been there,
and I came to build a bridge
Oh so this road could lead her home,
the road could lead her home
Oh I have been there,
You know I overcame the cross,
Yes I have been there
So her life would not be lost
Oh I have been there, and I came to build a bridge
So this road could lead you home
The road could lead you home
Oh I have been there
Yes I have been there
Tonight, Spencer and I will be going with some of our friends to the Good Friday service at our church. While I was out on my long run yesterday, I had a lot of time to think and pray. I really just spent a lot of time thinking about how a dimension of the cross that I never understood until now was what it must have been like for Mary. John 19:25 says, "Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother..." For the first time, I get it. I understand what it is like to watch your son die. No, Isaac wasn't the savior of the world, and no, Isaac wasn't crucified... but I watched him die. I heard the neonatologist as she told me that his heart had slowed down to only 30 beats per minute... and I heard her again when she told me that Isaac was gone. And while Isaac was so peaceful, and I am so thankful for that, it doesn't change the fact that he died.
As I continued my run, I thought of this song. I really identified with the line that says "'Oh Lord, I loved her till the end.' And he heard a gentle voice say, 'You'll see her once again.'" I did... I loved Isaac until the end. I still do. And while my heart is broken over the fact that he isn't here, because of the cross, I can be confident in the hope that I will see him again. I was also reminded of the fact that He has been there. Jesus knows what sorrow is all about. In Matthew 26:38, Jesus says that his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. He knows what sorrow is all about. He has been there.
I don't know what sorrows you may be facing. Maybe, like me, it's the loss of a child and for the first time this year, you, too, can identify with Mary. Maybe it's the loss of a spouse or a parent; maybe it's a poor prognosis, or something I haven't mentioned here. What I want you to know is that He has been there.The beauty in the cross is that it is where Jesus, our Savior, has built a bridge from death into life. Because of the cross, Isaac is healed and whole in Heaven... rejoicing in the presence of our God. Because of the cross, we, too, can be reconciled with God if we if choose to put our faith, or hope, and our trust in Him.
Have you? Will you?