Updated: Oct 18, 2021
I have 12 children. But only 7 can be seen. My womb has been a tomb many times. I have brought forth life and death. Each time our family was plunged into the torrents of grief it brought different challenges physically, emotionally and spiritually.
But did God takes away my babies?
For a long time I believed that He did.
After all Job is quoted so often when death comes knocking.
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." Job 1:21 (RSV)
We are introduced to Job in (1:1-5). After we meet this man of God, there is a discussion between God and Satan (1:6-12). Satan needs to ask permission from God to bring tribulation on Job's life. In turn, God allows Satan to bring calamity upon Job but he is not allowed to take Job's life. The chapter unfolds and Job loses his worldly possessions and his children. Notice God is not taking anything from Job.
When we read further into the book of Job. We find that he blames God for destroying the wicked and the blameless. Job also accuses God of mocking the innocent. (9:22-24).
Does this really describe God?
Is God the source of pain on earth? Does God take things away from us? Does God take away jobs from people? Does God take children away from their parents? Does God take away our salvation? Does God take away His presence in the Eucharist? If God gives and takes away then is he not unjust?
We have the wrong view of who God is if we truly believe that God is "taking" our children. We have to keep in mind that this is Job's initial response to his grief. Later we see Job is angry. He is trying to make sense of so many losses all at once.
So if God does not take, how can we look at the death of a child?
Replace the word take with the word receive.
God receives our little ones into His kingdom.
"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark10:15 (RSV)
Just as we need to receive the kingdom of God through the Sacraments. So our children are received into the kingdom.
One of the greatest things I have ever learned is in God's eyes, love is never absent. In his heart, forgiveness is never impossible. and In His embrace, no one is ever alone. I hold this reminder close to my heart and I hope you will too.
And one day we too will be received into His heavenly kingdom, where we will embrace our little ones.