“As the Spirit’s Love shines through you, My healing Presence goes to work in the other person.” Jesus Always
I was up late at night, writing a letter to my son that would be read at his funeral the next day.
Our son was born a few weeks earlier with what we learned was a rare and fatal disorder.
I had started the letter with a lament, the same familiar one I had been repeating over and over to myself after I was released from the hospital. We longed for you to live, my son. We asked, but we didn’t see our miracle. The ones with the capital M’s, the ones people write about and make movies out of.
Then, this next sentence came falling out onto the page.
Here’s the thing, though, sweet boy. We did see other things.
It surprised me.
I kept writing.
We did see other things
We saw nurses who took care of us like we were their family, staying after shifts to sit with us, bringing me their Kleenex from home to replace the sandpaper kind the hospital had.
We saw a friend who drove all day, knocked on my hospital door with coffee in one hand and an overnight bag in the other. Who curled up on the stiff pull-out couch next to my bed and woke up with me every hour as the nurse poked and prodded and checked my vitals before you were born so your dad could spend one night at home with your sisters after many nights away.
We saw a doctor who talked with us for longer than doctors have time to. Who sat on our bed and cried with us when we realized a capital-M miracle weren’t going to happen for us.
We saw church members who showed up in hospital hallways to pray when we couldn’t find the words ourselves.
We saw brothers who showed up with your dad’s favorite food, who hugged him tight as he cried on their shoulder for longer than he ever had before.
We saw sisters who dropped everything to come and sit with your dad and I as we faced the toughest decisions in our lives. Who sat with me while my body recovered from surgery and shock. Who brushed my matted and tangled unwashed hair when I couldn’t do it myself. Sisters who stepped into their position as your aunts without hesitation. Who took pictures with you, commented on your features and your movements and coos through the incubator, who held your hand through the wires and machines, who introduced you to all your cousins through videos and pictures and stories.
We saw grandparents who took care of your sisters so that your dad could spend every minute with you and me. Who cooked and cleaned and cried and drove back and forth between the hospital and our house at all hours of the day. Who explained hard things to little girls. Who prayed and hoped and grieved for you alongside us.
We saw your sisters kiss your tiny head and touch your tiny toes with a tenderness we hadn’t seen from them before. We watched as they talked about how much they loved you with a fierceness that surprised your daddy and I.
We saw pastors and friends who happened to pull into the hospital parking lot just as the doctor told us it was time to say goodbye. The same pastors and friends who had helped me know Jesus so many years ago, who had counseled and married your dad and I, who sat beside us as we held you before you took your last breath. I felt their hands on our shoulders, pressed in and praying for us with tenderness and tenacity.
God is Love. The kind with a capital L.
The list goes on and on. Doctors and nurses who broke rules so we could hold our son. Friends who sent notes filled with poetry and kindness and scripture that comforted us. Meals sent to our table, packages sent to our doorstep and prayers sent up to God.
You see, we did not get our Capital-M Miracle, and I won’t ever know why. What I do know is that what we got instead was the hardest experience of our life, surrounded by beautiful and tender moments of being loved deeply. In those weeks, we experienced a sacrificial and unconditional kind of love from our family and friends and neighbors and strangers, image bearers of God, that I hadn’t experienced before. The kind with a capital L.
Yes, God is a God of miracles. But He doesn’t promise to perform those miracles the way we want Him to.
What we are promised is that God loves us and that we can rely on Him because He is love.
I finished my letter that night and set my alarm so that I could wake up on time to get ready for my son’s funeral in the morning. I was anxious for the day that lay ahead of me, with grief still resting heavy on my heart but confident in God’s love for me.
Kathleen Dawson Clancy is an educator and writer living in a small town outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and one wily dog. They have a son, William, waiting for them in heaven. Kathleen has spent her career serving in nonprofit organizations and the church, while finding as much time as she can to read and write.
You can find Kathleen on her website, Instagram, and Medium.
10 thoughts on “Capital M-Miracles”
This is a wonderful testament to Faith in a Living God. I thought of commiserating with the losses of I’ve experienced and decided not to. That’s focusing on what I don’t have and continuing to wave my fist at God..blah-blah. So thank you for your story
God bless you and your family 🙂
Hi Merrill! I’m so glad our story was encouraging. I also think commiserating can be ok sometimes, it’s one of the reasons why I write! Sometimes you have to get it all out, dump it all out on the table, before you can start sorting and finding those moments when God was present to remind you you weren’t alone or the moments when people, image bearers of God, showed you care and kindness to remind you that you are loved. They’re in there, those reminders from God, in the midst of hurt and pain and loneliness.
God bless you and yours!
Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your experience with the world.
Such a beautiful reflection on the unexpected ways God supports us during our painful trials if we only have eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand. So sorry for your loss, and thanks so much for sharing.
God Bless you and your family.
Thank you Mary! And amen – eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand!
What a beautiful perspective…seeing the other miracles and love that surrounded you and your family. So very sorry for the loss of William but sharing your story of God still being there for all of you in so baby ways, will help many to jot give up on God due to difficult times. May God’’s loving arms continue to wrap around you and your family and give you peace.and healing.
Thank you Kate and thank you for that kind blessing!
Your words are so touching, I instantly was connected by your 1st sentence alone. I too look forward to see my unborn son in Heaven some day. Your words, courage & faith is truly inspiring to many, thank you & God bless.
Thank you Kathleen for your heartfelt sharing. It moves me to tears as you share the love – capital L – surrounding you from doctors to nurses, friends and family and brothers and sisters in Christ. Truly God embrace you in His love through all these people.
May you find comfort in the blessed knowledge of our loving and compassionate God who is always with us in all seasons of our life. The Lord bless you and family.