A year ago to this day, much of the world got to meet our dear baby, Clark. Unbeknownst to us, the album, kept public for the sake of sharing with family/friends who were praying for us, went viral. These photos containing memories of his very short life capture things that cannot be said and the vulnerability and love that we experienced during this time is still difficult to grasp for ourselves.
A year ago to this day, I held the mouse over the “Delete” button as I watched numbers and comments soar… “This was never supposed to happen. I don’t think strangers should be seeing this. What will people say? What will they think of my sweet, broken son? Why is this happening? I will just delete it to be safe.” I sat there for several minutes praying and asking God why this was happening and what I was supposed to do. No great voice sounded telling me exactly what to do, I just forced myself to ignore the selfish reasons for hitting delete, like not wanting to be so open to the judgement of others, and only beautiful reasons to leave it remained.
I remember reading through some of the comments and couldn’t believe the love, prayers and healing that were taking place through the bright light of our son’s tiny life. Families facing the hopeless road of a bad diagnosis were given hope and a reason to hold on, if only for the gift of loving and embracing their child while they could. Mothers who were never allowed to see or hold their stillborn baby finally got a glimpse of that special baby. Siblings who never got to meet their sister/brother were able to feel a sense of love and closure for the person they knew existed but had no memory of. Nurses and Doctors who’ve watched parents treat life with such little respect were given hope by the love we had for our son. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of parents who’d lost children were given a taste of the heartbreak that comes with loss like this. Families who were whole were reminded of the precious lives of their children and the blessing they are! And best of all, as Christmas was just weeks away, we were all given the opportunity to reflect on the tiny, helpless infant who would be born to such hostility and vulnerability, in order to save us all so that we might have heaven with him.
So what has a year meant to me and my family, since our greatest pain and most bittersweet experience of love was made public? Mainly two things:
- There is so much loss in this world and so many countless souls to pray for…
- Every. Single. Life. Matters…
In regards to the first, I will never, ever, ever, have cause to feel alone or ungrateful for the life I’ve been given. For the last year I have been a place to come to for empathy and prayer and I tell you if I truly prayed as much as I should for the many souls out there I would not have time for anything else. This is such a broken, tragic world. So much pain and suffering. Where war, hate, indifference, disease take countless lives, so many of them children… Where tragedy and odds strike innocent bystanders for no known reason. It is too much for me to grasp, too heavy for my shoulders, but so clearly real and constant in this life I can only pray and reach out to the closest broken heart. My eyes have been open to a small sliver of the knowledge of suffering and how no life is immune to it. Death is a daily reality and it’s worth praying about. And thanks to our sweet boy in heaven I have continual opportunity to hope in a life after death and to pray that one day we can all be at rest and made whole in that beautiful experience.
Secondly, every human life matters more to this world and to our Father than we will ever know. Want proof? Look at our sweet Clark Job. The objective details of is life? He lived in utero for 9 months. We have no idea if he ever had a single thought. He passed during birth, his lungs never experienced oxygen. He was deformed, incomplete. His life was essentially nothing. Yet here we are sharing how he was so much more and witnessing a greater impact on the world than most know in a lifetime. This is not to say that a life lost and forgotten does not have the same value, quite the opposite in fact. What we do know from witnessing this for a year now is that only God can fathom the impact of every. single. life. and we are doing an injustice by underestimating the beauty and value of every soul thought into existence, regardless of their time here on earth. For these reasons I will always weep with you for your loss (miscarriage, infant, child, adult), every single one matters! Every life lost is a void in this life. I’m reminded by the quote from It’s a Wonderful Life, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Yes, each life touches so many other lives, it’s beyond our knowing. That awful hole should always remind us of the great value God puts in each one of us and the beautiful purpose each one of us has eternally.
A year ago to this day, I had very little understanding of how God’s plan was playing out or how His will corresponds to the tragedies that take place every second throughout the world, including the death of our son. Today, I still will not claim to understand. I will say this, He has shown us – by walking with us – the way we are to journey through this valley of tears. We must continue on by holding each other up, sharing the burdens, loving selflessly and wholeheartedly, praying and depending on him for everything, and with our eyes on the Joy of heaven!
I want to thank you all for this year and for continuing to send love and support our way. That awful hole is still there, but we are more and more inspired to follow God’s calling and the example of our son’s life. Wishing you a very blessed, meaningful, inspiring Christmas as we once again turn to the Infant Jesus and contemplate the incredible gift of Himself!
“Because of his boundless love, Jesus became what we are that he might make us to be what he is.”
View Clark’s Story & Album here: https://lifeloveloss.org/2016/02/26/meet-clark-job/