Last night we all knelt around Matt and held his small, weakened hands. We prayed thanks to God for allowing us to keep Matt for this short while. I thanked Him for the sister He has grown in “E” and the brother He has grown in “J,” and for the laborious hours of love and sleeplessness “R” has poured into loving Matt as only a mother does for her son. We shed tears as we prayed goodbye.
“Dada,” ‘E’ then says with tears on her face, “let’s read ‘J’ the story of Jesus dying on the cross so he can know how to get to heaven. “
And that is the story of Matt. Even in his weakest moment, with barely a breath left in his gaunt little body, God’s love and goodness cry out. Matt has changed our hearts and widely touched people around us, many of whom I have never even met. Now more than ever, God uses Matt to point our hearts to the gospel in the most desperate of ways.
Watching the process of flesh turning back to the dirt from which God formed it is painful and horrific. We can hardly bear to undress Matt for a bath. It is obvious our little boy is going home soon and we can feel the weight of an earthly lifetime of missing him looming. Our hope, however, is this: the suffering of this world is not worthy to be compared to the glory which will one day be revealed (Rom 8:18).
So have hope, my friends. If your heart breaks with ours at the coming loss of little Matt, let it be to God’s glory. Let our hearts break that we are “on the wrong side of the door,” as C.S. Lewis put it. Let us long to be there, with Christ, someday.
Last night in our circle around Matt, we imagined what he might look like in heaven. Can you imagine what it will be like for him to run and smile and laugh and do all of the magnificent things that he will do there? We will all wait patiently for Matt to leave his earthly body, glad to hold him another minute. In the future, however, we will wait very impatiently for our faith to become sight.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him(1 Thes 4:13).