And they sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book and to open its seals, because You were slain and purchased for God with Your blood people from every tribe and language and people and nation, and You have made them to our God a kingdom and priests, and they will reign on the earth. Rev 5:9-10.
The chaplain was told he was in for a tough visit. A young couple with a stillborn baby. He arrived on the third floor to see a crowd of people laughing in the hall. The desk nurse told him the room number and he made his way through the crowd and entered a room that was completely dark except for the dim crack of light coming from the bathroom. In the bed he could see the mother. She was young and pretty, with blond hair and tired-looking eyes. “Hello,” the chaplain said feebly. Words never mean very much at a time like that. “I’m the chaplain.”
Her eyes were filled with despair, she was clearly in pain, yet sleepy, as if she had been sedated. She was holding the lifeless child. Before he could say anything she handed him the child. The little girl was wrapped in white blankets, her little face lifelike, her body limber. Looking at her, one could imagine she was just asleep. The father was slumped in a chair staring out the window. He was in shock, not even able to communicate. He barely even acknowledged the chaplain’s existence. Sitting next to the mother was the grandmother, sobbing endlessly.
The chaplain stood there, holding the stillborn little girl. “Help me Lord, help me,” he prayed silently, gently cradling the lost dreams of this young couple. He suspected there was a fully decorated bedroom at their house, waiting for an occupant that would never come. How many times had her husband and she talked excitedly about their new child? How many gifts, good wishes, plans, and dreams had they shared expectantly?
The chaplain couldn’t hide his tears as he led them in the “Our Father.” He handed the baby back and told them he’d be there if they needed him.
In the hallway, others were celebrating the arrival of their child. He quietly asked them to please try to keep it down a little, out of respect. They quickly did so. They could imagine the young mother’s pain.
Either of those parents would have done anything to make their baby live. They probably would have given their own lives if it meant saving their child. That’s what Jesus did. He decided to give up His life, rather than see us die. He had a choice between eternal life for Himself without us, or giving it up to save us. He couldn’t live without us. You and me. That’s how much He loves us.