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Austin Grigg

Husband, father of two bright-eyed boys, dabbling theologian, web developer and app maker.

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A Poem for Skylar

Almost a month ago, my dear friends lost their little girl Skylar. My heart has been so heavy for them. I went to the memorial they held for her at Trinity, and their pastor Chris spoke such powerful words of affirmation to them, the reality of our redemptive hope, and a warning to us not to cheapen or shy away from mourning.

He talked about the story of Lazarus (a story that won't let go of me) and how Jesus asked Mary where her deepest hurt was, and he walked into it with her. He says "Where have you laid him?" and Mary says "Come and see." Jesus, who is about to raise him from the dead, doesn't try to comfort her, but simply walks with her to his grave and weeps. I'm so glad we have a God who is not far off from our deepest hurt and our most acute suffering.

As I've been working through my own mourning and mourning for my friends, these words began to form. There are no words, we don't have the language, for this sort of pain, but I believe God has given us words to help us name some of our mourning.

Orchid
for Skylar

With porthole eyes
she gazed onto the world:
a constellation of balloons, Pixar movies,
and a dog named Reese.

Her hummingbird heart
was fuller than most –
thrumming to a quiet melody,
soaking in the notes of life.

Air, so abundant and elusive
to her lungs.
reminding us to cherish every
inhale       exhale.

She reserved her smiles
for mom and dad,
and the occasional handsome man –
a special place for Thomas Clay.

She touched the world,
fascinated by every texture –
a tickle of hair awaking
the smiles of her eyes.

Like an orchid she grows,
slender and graceful toward heaven,
skipping into the arms of God,
blossoming in an array of colors.


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