Sitting on the beach today. Grant should have been sitting here with me. Both of us, book in hand, talking about this and that. Watching him play volleyball with his little sister. Reluctantly agreeing to ride bikes with me up and down the boardwalk, Him praying I wouldn’t run into someone and embarrass him! Body surfing and swimming out past the wave breaks with his dad. But instead, I sit here with an aching heart, a pit in my stomach, and his memory. My new normal, living around the gap…
In moments like this one life can seem insurmountable. I am 52 years old. I might have to live another 30 years with this, the new normal. It sometimes seems impossible, and I buck against the thought. I don’t want to do that…it’s too long, it’s too much, it’s too tiring. But then I glance down at me feet, toes tucked into the sand. I see the hundreds of little grains of sand on my skin and think of the trillions of grains on this beach.
As I focus on one grain of sand, it occurs to me that, that one grain of sand is just like my life span. My soul lives for eternity, forever and ever with no end. If I compare eternity with the 80 years or so I have here, that’s like pulling one grain of sand off of the beach and setting it next to every other grain of sand in the world. There is no comparison! This life, here on Earth, really is a blink of an eye, a fleeting breath, when compared to our eternity with Christ.
This life is all I know, so at times it can seem infinite, it can seem like this is all there is, and it can seem like such a long time until I reach Heaven. But it’s a single grain of sand! This may seem melancholy but I believe there is great value in remembering the brevity of life. It is wise for me to think about the shortness of this life and the infinite length of the next. It brings me comfort and there is scarcely any thought that purges my priorities of hollow and worldly perceptions and expectations like the thought of Grant’s brief life, my imminent death, and my eternal life to come.
Grant’s life was a short one, by today’s standards. And the pain of missing him is still sometimes more than I think I can bear. But in reality, regardless of how long any of us live, it is but a grain of sand. This life will be over in a blink. The life we were meant to long for, cherish, and anticipate is our eternal life with Christ. Our eternal life is truly the one that matters. And because of Jesus, I know what Gran’t eternity looks like, what my eternity looks like. The trillions of grains of sand, have been purchased by our Savior. So as I sit here today, looking at my sandy feet, missing Grant so much my heart hurts, I will take comfort in knowing that this life is but a single grain, and we have trillions of grains together coming our way.
Having lost my entire family, I can tell you that the only way to “make sense” (if there is such a thing) is to recognize two things…1) We don’t own any life that comes into our own lives…it doesn’t matter if it is a child, friend, sibling, parent or spouse or grandparent. That life belongs to God and not to any one individual. These lives that intersected our own life is nothing but a pure gift from God. As such, those lives can and will be taken from us at some point in time. Ultimately, even the gift of our own life will be taken away too someday. 2) The only response one can offer to these gifts is one of thanksgiving. Recognizing that we don’t own these lives means that we must give thanks to God for allowing them to be a part of our lives no matter how long or how short that time might be.
Lauren, this is beautifully said and so, so true. Thank you for the needed reminder. Hugs