In the beginning, sorrow and anguish felt like a connection to Hans. It was a conduit, a frantic grasping for nearness. To remember was to be with him. All longing was focused on getting to him – right now. To weep was to hold him close. My baby.
But, as comforting and necessary and right as those emotions are, they are not based on the facts of the present reality. There comes a time when sorrow and anguish are not enough anymore. It’s not that it wears off, or gets easier. It’s just that you come to an awareness that sorrow is not getting you anywhere. Sorrow cannot bring me nearer to Hans in fact. Slowly, you gain the ability to smile through the memories because you have been given a better connection than sorrow and grief. Something based in the facts as they are.
The fact is, Hans, in actuality, is not in my present. We have his broken body here with us, buried in a sweet and sunny patch of ground. And yes, he is part of our past, but only in memory and in the evidence of his life that he left behind. Hans, the real and living Hans, is in our future. That’s where he is. Right now. Every day that passes is another day closer to seeing him again. This is not pie in the sky. This is not my “belief” or my “religion”. These are facts based on God’s sure word, the Bible, which was written by men inspired by the One Who is known as The Word.
The facts are these: Hans is in Heaven in the actual presence of the Lord God Almighty. And this same Lord of the Universe, God the Holy Spirit, lives within me. God is near, everywhere I go, as I walk with Him. Therefore, are not Hans and I together in the Lord? Staying close to the Lord, keeping my mind on heavenly, eternal things, abiding in Him, keeps me close to Jesus. And somehow, this keeps me near to Hans as well. Nearer in fact than Hans could ever be even if he were sitting here next to me.
For sons grow up. They move away. They transfer their primary familial devotion to their own growing families. They may make good decisions or poor ones. They can become ensnared or apathetic or just busy. They can grow distant while living in the same city.
But my son is safe from all that. No one can hurt him. He cannot hurt or deceive himself. He no longer sins. In fact, sin can’t touch him at all. He is pure and holy. Holiness is a much more productive connection to Hans than sorrow.
And that is a fact.