Cousin Rufus on Early Exits
Dear Cousin Cletus,
It’s been a while since ah wrote you a letter, so this week ah’m catchin’ up on chores like that. Things in the holler is about the same. Last month ah planted flowers ‘round the cabin door in mem’ry of mah dear, departed Matilda. Ah shore do miss her.
Ah been thinkin’ ‘bout the folks down in Texas that lost children last week. Ah don’t want to minimize anything they’re goin’ through right now. Matilda and me lost a couple babies b’fore they wuz born, so ah know just a little ‘bout how it feels to lose a child. But to raise one for ten years and then lose ‘em, well, that has to make the hurt go mighty deep.
Ah really b’lieve those young’uns are now livin’ in heaven, Cletus. It’s like this: Remember when we wuz little and us cousins spent the night with Granddaddy at his old home place? I would fall asleep at night on the cabin floor. Granddaddy would gather me up in his big ol’ arms and carry me upstairs to the loft.
What if you had said, “Granddaddy! Leave him here with us! We want to be together down here!” Wise ol’ Granddaddy knew ah would sleep better in the featherbed in the loft, than on the hard cabin floor. That’s kinda the way our wise Maker thinks about us, sometimes.
Why would he take little children so young?
Ah found the answer in the Good Book. The wise, ol’ prophet Isaiah knew whut he wuz talkin’ ‘bout.. In mah own words, he said, “The righteous die before their time, and good people are taken away. The people left behind don’t seem to realize that God is taking them away from the evil days ahead. They will enter into peace.” (Isaiah 57:1 and 2)
Isaiah even said, “they shall rest in their beds.” Don’t that make you think about Granddaddy? We loved to go to his big, old cabin and feel safe and learn all the good things he taught us. Those children got taken before they had a chance to grow up, but they’re livin’ “upstairs” now in a better place. Would people really wish ‘em back, if they could look ahead and see the terrible times they would face if they grew up?
Mebbe the Lord looked down on those parents and knew they would suffer someday when they couldn’t get food to feed those children. Mebbe some of those children would get cancer and suffer for years. Mebbe some would get bullied and feel shame when they got to be teenagers.
It’s hard to think ahead when your eyes are full of tears and your heart’s bustin apart. But knowin’ those little children aren’t sufferin’ any more, would we really want 'em back if we knew bad times might be ahead?
What ah do know is, we can trust the Good Lord to do all things well. Ah choose to trust his wisdom even when ah cain’t see ahead.
That’s mah thoughts, Cuz. Y’all come see me sometime, where life in the holler is nice an’ slow.
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