Little One Lost
Summary: Our society has effectively silenced the cries of our littlest ones. Miscarriage is rarely mentioned, abortion is rampant and still borns are only briefly acknowledged. Every little soul has been created by God and thus bears His image. Every death, including the loss of our little ones, deserves acknowledgement and an appropriate time of grief. The loss of little ones is personified by the inclusion of personal stories of parents who have experienced the pain and grief through the death of their children. Mathes goes on to offer comfort to parents by enlarging God's covenant promises which are sure in Christ. Godly parents do grieve, but they do not grieve without hope, for He who creates also holds the power to keep and preserve.
Personal Thoughts: I was surprised at the thoroughness of this topic. At the outset I expected to read about miscarriage and still borns. Yes, these topic were wonderfully expounded, but so was abortion, infertility and adoption. And that's exactly what the author intended to do--to bring awareness to the many types of loss parents experience. I love how she pointed out that entire families grieve the loss of a little one, not just the mother. Part 6 is probably the most powerful section in the book which is entitled 'Healing our Pain.' Included in the final part of the book is chapter 26 which talks about compassionate care; there's a chapter that ought to be reprinted in many a church article and bulletin. Do you know how to comfort those who are grieving the loss of an infant? Do you know the words to offer that will begin a process of healing? Tolle lege--pick up and read!
Quote: "The littlest lambs are not lost. The Good Shepherd gathers them in His arms and gently leads their parents beside peaceful still waters into hopeful green pastures. Christians should not be afraid to call a baby a baby. Let's recognize that a child at any point in the pregnancy is a creation of God. Let's not fall prey to a pro-abortion mindset that minimizes pre-term loss. Let's reach out to dads, siblings and grandparents as well as moms in acknowledging their losses. Let's continue ministering to our hurting sisters and brothers long after the initial pain. And let's humbly realize the reason why God, in His infinite wisdom, chooses to end a life before it really begins is beyond our finite understanding." --pg, 133,134
O love That Will Not Let Me Go
Various authors compiled by Nancy Guthrie
Summary: Death. This book is about death. As a result, this book is meant for everyone; everyone must face this bitter foe. These pages host a compilation of many different authors and their thoughts on death. Piper writes a chapter on calling death sweet names. John Eaves speaks about being a witness to Christ in the way we die. Joni Eareckson Tada does an excellent job explaining how suffering causes the heart to long for heaven. Jonathan Edwards gives many reasons why the day of a godly man's death is better than the day of his birth. Thomas Boston does a good job of gently diffusing many arguments and fears people face when dying such as leaving loved ones behind, suffering pain in death, and the fear of losing assurance on the death bed. Spurgeon tackles the idea of dying daily, while Dabney does an amazing job of describing the terrors of dying alone, despite being surrounded by a host of family and loved ones, and meeting a Savior on the other side of the veil.
Personal Thoughts: I think the chapters that Nancy Guthrie selected for this book give a thorough treatment of death from the perspective of a Christian. Some of these chapters were a repeat for me as I've read them before in books by the original author. Chapter 20 by R. L. Dabney was certainly my favorite. He left deep, deep impressions on me as he spoke of those final minutes of life on this earth--just before death steals us away. I confess a few chapters were dull, but other chapters were so good, they happily made up for it.
Quote: "You say that you cannot abide the thought of death. Then you greatly need it. Your shrinking from it proves that you are not in a right state of mind, or else you would take it into due consideration without reluctance.
You have something yet to learn if you are a Christian , and yet are not prepared to die. You need to reach a higher state of grace and attain to a firmer and more forceful faith. That you are as yet a babe in grace is clear from your admission that to depart and be with Christ does not seem to be a better thing for you than to abide in the flesh." C.H. Spurgeon, pg 148