A Poem for Grieving Parents

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I’ve always loved quotes, and quote books. Good quotes contain great wisdom, distilled for any eager reader. I’ve saved this scrap by Edgar Guest from “Uncle Ben’s Quotebook” for around 45 years, and thought it would be nice to share it. I regularly hear from parents whose children are far from God, or have recently passed away. When asked, I try to remind them that our children ultimately belong to God, and that we are their temporary caretakers. Our love for our children is immeasurable in human terms, yet God loves them – and us – far more than that. I pray this will provide some comfort for those who, in this life, have suffered loss.


“I’ll lend you for a little time
A child of Mine,” He said,
“For you to love the while he lives
And mourn for when he is dead.
It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty-two or three;
But will you, ’til I call him back,
Take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief,
You’ll have his loving memories
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn,
I’ve looked the wide world over
In My search for teachers true,
And from all the throngs that crowd
Life’s lanes I’ve selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call
To take him back again?”

I fancided that I heard them say,
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done.”
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness,
We’ll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known,
Forever grateful stay;
But should the angels call for him
Sooner than we’ve planned
We’ll brave the bitter grief
That comes and try to understand.”


I realize that this poem isn’t full of biblically accurate theology… and still, the point is made: He is God, and He knows best. We trust Him because He’s shown Himself trustworthy again and again. In our heart-wrenching pain, we can turn to Him for comfort and healing.

David Dunn: Yellow Balloons

God, what were You doing?
What were You doing here?
I know that You are moving
But right now it’s less than clear

‘Cause the world just got darker
‘Cause a little light went out
And we’ll try to hold it together
But it’s hard to do that now

So we’ll cry on her birthdays
As days turn to years
We beg for Your wisdom
Can’t go on without You near
Cause our beautiful girl
Left the world
Left the world

Little hands and crazy hair
Little kisses on my ears
Barely more than simple words
Two years old

And Your Heaven, God, is distant
Just too far away
And it hurts to watch
As yellow balloons
Fly away
Fly away

So we cry on her birthdays
And wish that we knew
Why You took her to Heaven
So soon

And we beg for Your presence
We beg for more of You
‘Cause our beautiful girl
Left the world
Left the world


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