This past week was our son's birthday. Our son who is in heaven, that is. He left this earth almost two years ago, at the age of 41. This year would have been his 43rd birthday. I don't write this to make you feel sad or to feel sorry for me. Perhaps I am writing this for myself...as a way of dealing with the grief. Even though we still miss our son and will always long to see his face again and hear his voice and laughter...I can honestly say that God has given me a true sense of peace and gladness. You see, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will see my son again someday. There is no doubt in my mind that he had accepted God's free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, (see Ephesians 2:8-9) and that when he left his earthly home he went immediately into the Presence of God Almighty. Therefore, I have joy in my heart...and I can sing praise to God and not be silent.
For his birthday, to honor the memory of our son, we planted two trees in our yard.
|Our sons planted two apple trees in the front yard.|
Hopefully they will grow and prosper and bear much fruit!
We actually started this "tradition" the very week of his memorial service, by building an arbor and establishing a small memorial garden in our backyard. This has become a special place to sit and pray, watch the birds, enjoy a time of communion with the Lord and His beautiful creation.
|My sister donated this beautiful wind-spinner|
in memory of our son.
You may think this is a bit morbid or even eccentric. Well, perhaps if these "memorials" caused us to become sorrowful or even a bit depressed or angry, that could possibly be construed as carrying grief too far. But what I have discovered is by having these living reminders of our son, it has "turned for me my mourning into dancing"...and has helped to "put off my sackcloth and has clothed me with gladness."
I could not do this if I did not have total faith in God and His provision for salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Without that hope and promise there would be no reason to rejoice or dance again. But because Christ lives, I know that not only my son, but I, too, shall live!
I can sing along with Job (Job 19:25-27)
And as the Psalmist said above:
|In loving memory of our son|
Matthew E. Steiner