Here we are again. You don’t remember this, but four years, ago, we were at my birthday dinner when your mommy and daddy had some special news. There at Lilli’s, huddled around a booth, they told us that they were expecting … little did we know it was you we were waiting for! I remember bouncing baby Grayson on my knees that night, saying “You’re going to be a big brother!” He was in that phase of loving to drop silverware on the floor and he did it with extra fervor that night. We had squeezed an extra person around the table without even knowing. I remember going to bed and feeling a happy secret inside – another spectacularly amazing, wonderful baby for this very happy aunt to love. And so began, what I’ve called the Year of Rhett. That’s how it began, Rhett, and I still think of that night often and thank Jesus that we were somehow tied together from the start
Four years later, I think I’ve settled with some peace on the fact that we share a birthday of sorts. Your birthday – a heaven-given one – obviously has better gifts than mine, but still, if it has to be this way — and I’d still give anything for it not to be — I’m grateful that we’re in it together. I’m grateful we’re tied together like this, one day after the other.
So, here we are again, sweet Rhett. It’s January 21 and we’re sitting on either side of the biggest divide possible. We’re here in the not yet, and you’re in the what’s to come. While you see it all in full right this moment, we’re pressing our faces against the glass trying to get as close as we can so that we can see what you already know, live and breathe every moment — that in the end, all will be well.
As much as my brain can believe that promise from God, the rest of me still has trouble some days. It’s just how it is on this side of the glass, I guess, which makes me all the more grateful that we’re tied together. Together, our birthdays preach the absolute greatest promise of God: life will follow death, celebration will overcome grief. If it had to be this way – and I’d still give anything for it not to be – I’m grateful that we’re in it together. You tell that story over and over again to me and so many others. Thank you for being you, for being brave and beautiful and the best boy ever. I’m dreaming of you today — wishing you were here, but so thankful for the promise that you know in full what I know in part – soon, all will be well. Until then, we both have the Truth to hold on to. Jesus will not going let us down. All will be well.
And the King says, “Look! God and his children are together again. No more running away. Or hiding. No more crying or being lonely or afraid. No more being sick or dying. Because all those things are gone. Yes, they’re gone forever. Everything sad has come untrue. And see – I have wiped away every tear from every eye!”… One day John knew, Heaven would come down and mend God’s broken world and make it our true, perfect home once again. And he knew, in some mysterious way that would be hard to explain, that everything was going to be more wonderful for once having been so sad. And he knew then that the ending of The Story was going to be so great, it would make all the sadness and tears and everything seem like just shadow that is chased away by the morning sun. “I’m on my way,” said Jesus. “I’ll be there soon!” John came to the end of his book. But he didn’t write “The End.” Because, of course, that’s now how stories finish. (And this one’s not over yet.) So instead, he wrote: “Come quickly, Jesus!” Which, perhaps is really just another way of saying … to be continued. –Excerpt from “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones