Sometimes I just don't understand.
Last night I went to the Relay for Life held at the local high school. When I pulled into the parking lot one of the Cancer Society people stopped me and asked if I was a cancer survivor. I said "Well, I think right now I'm just a day to day chemo survivor and I'm not even sure about that sometimes." She laughed and said well that qualifies you to park in our special lot for survivors. Although I don't feel like a survivor at this point, I didn't argue because I had a bunch of stuff to carry onto the field where our site was.
We had an awning set up and a table with gardenias and all the towels I made to sell and donate to the walk. The entire field and surrounding track was full of people and tents like ours camped out ready for an entire night spent walking the track.
I was excited to be there with my family, especially my grandchildren. We settled in our chairs under the awning waiting for the night's festivities to begin when all of a sudden a strong wind came and took our entire awning and blew it down the field! After some help from those around us we got it back in place and Carl staked it down. We settled in again to relax and watch the people. Katie sat holding baby Cooper, Jayda was watching the towels lest they blow away again and we all sat in the chairs visiting. Next thing you know, the sprinklers came on all across the football field. Mind you these were not just ordinary sprinklers. The pressure from just one could likely put out a good sized fire. Katie and baby Cooper got soaked as well as the towels, stroller, chairs and everything else under the awning. After drying off the baby, we all laughed and wondered what would happen next.
Soon the music started and it was time for the walk to begin. The first lap is walked by the survivors. They are led around the track by a police motorcycle escort and as they walk by, all the people in the infield clap for them. I wondered at what point in their battle they actually felt like they were a survivor. One year, two years, five years? But then my eyes caught sight of a little boy, no more than 6 years old, with his "too big for him" survivor shirt on, being carried by his father around the track. My first thought was "What's wrong with this picture?" "Why this sweet little boy?" I love children, all children, and it tugged at my heart to think of all this little one had to go through to earn that shirt that was too big for him. "Why?"
After the survivors walk I went back to our site to hold baby Cooper and try to bring up my dampened spirits. All along the track the luminaries were being placed. (These luminaries are small bags with sand and a candle in them. On the outside of the bag is the name of the person who is being remembered. At dark they dim the stadium lights and light all the candles as the bagpipes play).
After a while Carl and I decided to walk up to the concession stand to find something to eat. As we walked I started reading some of the luminaries along the way. "In loving memory of our Grandpa". "Daddy, you are our hero." "We miss you grandma." Bag after bag written with words of love. But then I saw one that said "In Loving Memory of Nathan 2001 - 2005." Four years old! My eyes filled with tears. "Why?" I asked God almost loud enough to be heard, "What could possibly be the reason for allowing this little one to be taken from his family in such a short time? Why the little children? Why are babies born so early they never have a chance be what they were supposed to be? Lord, I just don't understand!"
And then I heard His voice in a scripture, "Now we see but a poor reflection, as in a mirror, but then we shall see face to face." Now I know only in part, but then I shall know fully." (1Corinthians 13:12) I went back to hold baby Cooper. As I looked into my infant grandson's face I understood. I can no more understand God's ways than this new baby can understand what is happening on this field tonight. But Cooper doesn't have to understand. He is perfectly content being held in my safe and secure arms. And I don't have to understand, for one day it will all become clear. But for now I am perfectly content being held safe and secure in my Father's arms.