Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A glimpse under the veil

I practically fell out of my bed.

A few days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and this first stanza was in my head complete, accompanied by a rare intense feeling of dear Alex’s presence – it hurt but it felt so good. It seemed like a glimpse under the veil. I stopped and tapped it into my phone because it was so overwhelming to me and I did not want to lose the words:

Go and speak no more
Yet I will surely listen
All the day long
And all through the night

Those words are not any I had ever spoken or thought prior to the dream. So I had to try to figure out their meaning. I understand them as words I address to Alex, and they describe what I expect most parents experience when they lose a child. Often awake at night. Always on our mind, hoping in vain to have just one more chance to talk, but realizing the communication must be very different now.  

Right away I decided to write some additional stanzas, feeling so strongly inspired. I wiped my eyes and blew my nose, emailed it all to myself, told my wife, and went back to bed. I actually forgot about it until today I found it in my inbox and decided to share it here:

Yearning as I do 
Pining for a glimpse
I know that it’s true
Far too many hints

So I carry on
Through this shadowed truth
Cloudy but so clear 
Yes You are, forsooth

Oh please lift the veil
Lift it all away
I know that you will
This is why I pray

Those three stanzas are addressed to God, affirming to Him (and I suppose more so to myself) that even though I don't understand it all, I have hope, I trust in His way, I have faith in His promises, and I long for what He offers. May it always be so for me and for you.


  1. It takes so much courage to hope, and to share your heart. I pray you really will see through the veil and glimpse the beauty that beckons beyond the limits of time and space, to be with your dear son, and to know that he is in the Great Embrace! We are all in this together, bless you Rob, and all your dear family.

  2. A friend sent me a wonderful note in reply:

    It made me think of this passage from 2 Cor. 3:
    16 But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
    17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
    18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

    I think you expressed the longing in every man's heart...what Alex already knows and what we are slowly beginning to know each day more and more...

  3. I thought about the first stanza and realized it could also be God talking to me ("Shut up, Robb!" or He would likely put it much more kindly "Be still, my dear precious son and pray to me. I am listening for your prayer. I wait all day and night just to hear your prayers. Please don't withhold them. Please still yourself so that you can pray.").

    Then I realized the three other stanzas could also be seen (in our over-simplified human way) as if spoken to me by God. He sees me always almost there, right at the edge, and He hopes that I will make it home to Him. That I will stop offering Him a cloudy version of me - that instead I will offer Him myself full and pure. Assuring me that he will never give up on me. And letting me know that I actually hold the key to whether I will accept His help so that I can make the journey all the way home...