Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Little Lambs

This little lamb curls atop the grave of a baby in Old Live Oak Cemetery. The gravestone reads in part: "Beneath this stone in sweet repose is laid a mother's dearest pride."

A walk through the monuments reveals how short life used to be. So many infants and young children succumbed to illnesses that today are easily cured or perhaps no longer exist. Losing a child or children in the United States was not uncommon in the 19th Century. But now, it is relatively rare. We almost lost two of our children in infancy due to prematurity, but modern medicine and the will of God prevailed. Now, they are adults.

Yet, babies and children still die occasionally...whether by natural causes or accidents, and we all grieve with the families, and some of us wonder why such precious lives are cut so short.

A well-known Alabama radio show commentator lost his two-year-old son less than two weeks ago, and his family's strength has been a testimony to hundreds of thousands of people. During the memorial service, Rick Burgess testified about the source of their strength and how his son's death has challenged him to go to the next level of his Christian faith. He challenges other believers as well. The service was videotaped, and a friend uploaded it to YouTube. The first part of "A Father's Heart" has already experienced more than 400,000 hits, and parts 2 and 3 have more than 200,000 visits and are just as inspirational.

Many Selmians listen to the syndicated radio program, and the YouTube video link is traveling rapidly through our email service providers. The way this father has responded to the death of his youngest son was the subject of many Sunday School and Bible study meetings last week.

(I am posting yesterday's post on Wednesday since we lost power due to high winds last night.)


smilnsigh said...

So sorry you lost power.


Halcyon said...

We had some big winds over here last night too. The windows were rattling, I didn't like that!

This is a very nice photo and a good story to go along with it too. It's always hard to lose someone you love, especially when that person is your child. Every person must deal with grief in their own way and I'm glad that this family seems to be expressing theirs in a positive way.

Southern Heart said...

Such a bittersweet photo, and an interesting post. We saw some babies' resting places when we recently took cemetery photos, too.

We lost power last night for a bit, too.

Andrée said...

that is a heart breaking monument. I can't bear to think of losing any of my children.

Jana said...

The headstones of children are always very sad. There is a pioneet family buried in one of our cemeteries. The parents lost 3 kids within a 5 year period. Very sad.

Clarice said...

My brother in law died recently in a car accident. He was 42 and I think it has shaken my Sister's belief. It is good to know that you are not alone.

Chris said...

When I go home to Youngstown to visit my mom's grave, we have to pass the graves of children who died in the flu epidemic about 100 years ago. Three of mom's older siblings died then and are buried there. . . .At any rate, a lot of the gravestones have lambs on them, and a lot have photos encased in glass. It's very sad even to this day.

blueboat said...

Such a sad post, but a beautiful inscription on the grave. I cannot imagine the grief of people who lose children so young - it is surely the very worst fear of every parent.

Lessie said...

Beautiful commentary.