A Death in the Family

Rachel Eve McCumber, born on Monday, died on Tuesday afternoon, daughter and third child of Benjamin and Melissa McCumber, who are both clients and friends.

I was privileged to attend the funeral, where there were many things said for comfort and from grief. I have no idea what it is to lose a child. I have no idea what it is even to lose a close family member. We have been richly and impossibly blessed all the days of my life. I was therefore impressed by the remarks made by many who spoke at the funeral of this little girl.

“We do not know God’s ways. We cannot tell what it is that He is doing. But we trust Him. He loves us.” – Ben McCumber

“I promise you that peace will come. It may take its time, but it will come.” – Bishop Beck

“I am so grateful for the Spirit of God that can give me peace even when everything hurts so terribly.” – Melissa McCumber

and my personal favorite:

“Melissa and Ben are so good, should we be surprised that their children are perfect?” – Bishop Barry Gardner

She who was behind us, to come after us, is now gone before us. All she was sent here to do she has done.

The hall wasn’t exactly full of people; it’s very difficult for people to get off work on such short notice and in the middle of the day, and of course this little precious one would have no friends here of her own, so there was only a goodly amount of family, and a few others of us lucky enough to know about the service, and that was all. There wasn’t any announcement of the funeral, just a couple of small paragraphs in the obituaries that Leslie Christofferson, another close friend of the Group, called us about, thinking it was Ray and Chrys’s child. God moves. Mysteriously, but He surely moves.

All of us there were affected by this little soul, though we never knew her. She will not do any of the things in this life that we do, but perhaps some of us will do things differently because she was here. Isn’t that more important?

One tiny lesson I learned from this: as I reached home after the funeral, my wife told me that the southbound entrances to the freeway were blocked off. It seems the Vice President of the United States is in town to give a commencement address, and in order to facilitate his movement, the freeway has been cleared, so that his long, black limousine might pass unimpeded.

This roadblock has caused a great deal of traffic jamming in its wake, and stuck in the jam is another long, black limousine, this one carrying a small plastic box with the tiny body of a little girl inside. Close behind it is a small old car in need of some repair, where the parents of that little girl will sit for another couple of hours, looking into the curtained back of the hearse at the resting place of their daughter.

I am strongly of the opinion that the roadblocks should be placed rather differently, if they are to reflect the true rank and stature of those going south today.

Sleep tight, little Rachel. We will tend your tulips for you.

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