Spiritual Practice


Rachel Starr Thomson

Years ago, while visiting friends on an Indian reservation along the Arizona-Mexico border, I attended a funeral for a miscarried baby. There was something surreal about it: Here we were, an entire community of people, gathering to grieve with the parents and to honor the brief life of a child whom many would not consider to have been fully alive or fully human. Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, . . .

Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on eath, . . .
God’s Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together.
Colosssians 1:16a, 17 (CEV)

Several years later, my family buried a miscarried child. He was with us for only three months, and he spent all of that time in our mother’s womb. I wondered what God’s purpose had been in placing him in our family for such a short time. Would my baby brother arrive in heaven with some connection to life here? Would he remember the songs we used to sing around the piano? Would our love for him somehow change us?

Those two events have stayed with me, reminding me that every life—no matter how brief, how hidden, how small—is part of all our lives. Ours is a vast interconnected story in which every character, line, and word changes the meaning of the whole.

“This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.”
—Seattle, Chief of the Duwamish, Suquamish, and allied Indian tribes

—from devozine (March/April 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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