It broke our hearts to watch the young father as he gently carried the small white casket down the aisle of the church and carefully place it on the table at the front of the sanctuary. Funerals of children are especially difficult for people to attend, especially parents. It seems so tragic to acknowledge the early journey to heaven of a child.
I recall almost 50 years ago waiting in the hospital one night with our 2 year old son as he struggled for life. We were advised that he would be fine the next morning or else he would lose his fight. Thankfully he won and went home with us the next day. In some small way I felt the bereaved parents pain that day.
The young mother posed an interesting question for me after the service. She wanted to know how to answer when people would ask her how many children she had. Should she include her child in heaven in the count or not. I assured her it would be appropriate to include her late child in the number. I also encouraged her to give the child a name.
When we read the stories of the Good Shepherd relating to children, it is a blessing. The warm hearted scenes show how much children meant to the Master. He insisted they be brought to Him to be blessed and spend time in His presence. Isaiah 40:11 seems to be literally fulfilled in Matthew 19:13-14.
Parents of growing children need to treat bedtime with children as a sacred time of spiritual ministry. Chatting about blessings of the day, singing hymns with them, praying with them, memorizing Scripture together, using a children’s catechism are all among the ways to “bring” them to Jesus for blessing.
Those of us who have grandchildren should consider ways to encourage our children to “bring’ their own children to the One Who loves them and has appointed angels to minister on their behalf.
The family hosting an evangelist asked their guest if any people were converted at the meeting that night. He responded that 4 and ½ were. “Oh,” the host responded, “you mean four adults and one child.” “No,” the evangelist replied, “I mean four children and one adult. The four children have their whole lives ahead of them but the man has only half.”
Today find ways to help children in your family come to and learn how to love the gentle Jesus Who loves them and desires to bless them.