Yesterday, we were in Trader Joes and the checkout lady overheard sweet Fred announce that he had picked out another lollipop for Charlie. Then she asked,
“Oh, so you also have another one at home?”
Hmmm… in so many ways, yes. Another precious little one is waiting at Home for us. And today our sweet boy met someone very special in his life…his great-grandfather.
Today, Charlie James Zeller met his great grandfather James Zeller when Reid’s grandpa left this world and went to be with Jesus.
Went…implies motion. There was actually movement from one very tangible place to an equally, and yet uniquely, tangible place someplace else.
To be…Reid’s grandpa still very much is. I have never fully understood this until the moment our sweet Charlie was born. As I looked at the tiny frame I had longed to live life with…I knew in the most honest place in my heart that though I couldn’t have him and keep him the way I so desperately wanted to…our precious baby still was. He was just someplace else.
With Jesus. This, is the best part. We go to be with Someone. Someone who loves us. Right now as I type, the little person who I longed to know and to love and to be with…is meeting his great grandfather. The man who made the man who made the man…who made him. In the presence of the One who made them all. And though we so wanted to know him first, I am so very thankful for Jesus’ promise that from the moment we leave this earth, today…that very day…we would be with him in paradise. I don’t know exactly how it all works, but I do know that Jesus never lies and never wastes words. And so I can trust him that Today. They are with him. And it is paradise.
After the recent loss of our precious boy, we just don’t have many callouses left on our broken hearts. And we feel raw and exposed as we process yet another loss. We also feel deeply envious. Grandpa Zeller is so very lucky to be free from all this pain and to be Home. To be with Jesus and Charlie in this moment. I used to think Pastor John Piper was crazy for saying that he would be ushered into heaven shouting “Gain!” at the top if his lungs. Now, I get it. The gain of being with Christ far exceeds the highest joy of any earthly moment. It is all the best of this world, and infinitely better because He is there.
Right after Charlie died I read the following words shared by Pastor John at his baby granddaughters funeral. They were a great comfort to my heart and today, even more so…
“Being Felicity’s grandfather means that I have felt the loss through her great grandfather, my father Bill Piper. And this experience is totally different from all the others. In this case, the loss is all gain. My father died six months and sixteen days before Felicity did. I believe the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ covers the sins of all who trust him and all who are not old enough to trust him here but will trust him later.
Therefore, I believe Felicity and her great grandfather met each other early Sunday morning in the presence of Christ. And my father said, perhaps, “Hello, Felicity. I’m your great grandfather Piper. Come, there is somebody I want you to meet. His name is Jesus. He’s the reason you’re here. You don’t need to be afraid. Your Savior has led you all the way. And Jesus does all things well.”
Tonight I told the kids that their Papa’s Daddy had moved to heaven. And Freddo exclaimed, “Jesus is in Heaven too! And Charlie and his Papa! They are both being friends! So fun!”
And though I wish that we could all just be in the same place right now, someday, by the grace of God, we will be. And it WILL be so very fun.