Coffins are not meant to be that tiny. He wasn't supposed to die. We prayed, and we prayed hard. He prayed for him. We prayed for his family. We prayed for the doctors and the nurses. We prayed for the treatment. And then we prayed some more. It didn't work. He's gone. Coffins are not meant to be that tiny.
And we are heartbroken. A community is devastated. Of course we don't know the aching, screaming silence of their pain - his family - we're only staring at the edge of awfulness not feeling the full force. But we know that coffins shouldn't be that tiny.
Deep down, we know this is not right. It's not how it's meant to be and we were all born for more, for greater, for longer. It hurts so much when they're so small. It just hurts. The fact is, we are East of Eden and we were all created for more. Death is an aberration and are coffins are not meant to be.
So then, God. Did he not care? Not just about the end, but the year of awfulness before. The pain. The fear. Why did this happen? Isn't he supposed to be good and loving? Why, God? WHY? Maybe the little one was so awesome you couldn't wait to have him with you, but that's scant comfort to his family right here and right now. They have years of loving him left in them. His coffin was not meant to be that tiny.
Death was not your original plan, but you gave us choice and we broke everything. You could have saved him though, if you'd wanted to. You could. This child. We pleaded with you. Will we ever know why?
What can we know? Death is not the plan. Death is an aberration. Coffins were not meant to be. But Death is here, icy fingers on our shoulders, malignant whispers in our ears. But wait, you are the crucified God. You are the God who died. You are the God who knows what it's like to lose a Son. You are the God who weeps, the God who prays for us and prays for this family.
"Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
You are the God victorious over death, rising from the dead so that we might all rise.
But, he's gone, this fabulous boy. It smarts. It certainly stings. We feel the sting.
There's a tear in the universe. The curtain in the Temple tearing from top to bottom brought about the beginning of the happy ending, but. But. We are not yet. The new heavens and the new earth are yet to be fully here.
"‘See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice for ever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. ‘Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed."
There will be no more weeping and crying. There will be no more tiny coffins. There will be no more coffins. Until then, we hold this family. We do not understand. But we know that God feels it. He knows. He sees. He weeps.