November 17, 2012

things above

I never met Caleb but enjoyed hearing stories about him around our dinner table.

Caleb was one of John's students last year. He had Aspergers. And since Ollie has a disorder, spd, I felt a special little connection to Caleb.

A few days ago during PE, Caleb's heart stopped beating.

His aid who follows him around administered CPR, to no avail.

Caleb died. Right there in PE class.

When we heard the news, we were devastated. He had a pre-existing heart condition, but this news was still sudden and shocking. Grief counselors came to the school the next day to help the students cope with the news.

You see, Caleb was very well loved. He had a best friend. A sister. Christian parents. He was also part of our youth group at church and was often found sitting in the back writing "worship the Lord" on his notepad or DS.

Honestly, I didn't quite know how to process this awful news.

I immediately called my mama.

And then I cried.

And could not stop hugging Ollie.

And in that moment, all of my worries about Ollie's spd and his future education just...dissipated. All my concerns about whether or not he would have trouble learning to read or write...or whether he could handle all-day kindergarten next year...just felt insignificant in light of the devastating loss of a 15 year old boy, who had trouble in school too. 

Caleb may have had trouble focusing in class, but he got the important things right. Like loving life and God and people.

And now all these lives that he touched are just reeling in that great loss.

What I'm trying to say here is that super smarts and education and excelling in school pale in comparison to love. People matter. Big, small, weak, strong, ALL PEOPLE have great value and worth. No one person is more important than another.

And in all honesty, I also asked, "Why God, why Caleb?"

And just then, I heard on our radio in our bedroom, the song playing,

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

In my gut I knew this to be true. Lord, blessed by Your name.  But I was still sad which I think is appropriate, considering the loss of a sweet 15 year old boy. When Jesus heard of the widow's son dying, "his heart went out and he said 'don't cry'. In the words of my Pastor, "It wasn't supposed to be this way!" We live in a fallen world.

A few days ago I was driving Ollie to preschool, on the open road with fields around us. I was pondering a difficult situation and once again asking "Why God, why?" Or maybe it's wasn't so much of a "why" question but more of "How do I process this? What am I supposed to think?"

The radio was on and the following lyrics were playing.

You open up my eyes to the things unseen...
...As I walk from earth into eternity

Back at home I was still singing "open up my eyes to the things unseen"...and then started my 'desert discipline'. And kinda did a double take when I read the following verses:

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal    (Colossians 3:2, 2 Corinthians 4:18, emphasis by Kay Arthur)

And I feel like this was God's gracious answer to my dubious question "why?"

And now I have even more questions. Like what EXACTLY are the things above, that I am to set my mind on? I have a few ideas. Like dwelling on God's word and serving people. Because people and God's word are the only things{here on earth} that are eternal. But how this thought pattern plays out in my head day-to-day is still to be determined.

And just so ya know? I have great peace knowing that Caleb is flying with Jesus.


  1. it is so, so hard to understand why these things happen.


    God's plan is sweeter than our own. His ways are greater than we can ever imagine. and precious Caleb's life had indescribable meaning. from the beginning of time Christ had a perfect plan for it. it doesn't make sense why his sudden departure had to be part of that plan. but as we begin to see just how many lives in our community were touched by his, I think it is overwhelmingly evident that many many more will be touched by his passing.

    Caleb is celebrating with Jesus. i wish that knowledge could erase all pain for his family and loved ones here on earth, but i know it doesn't. but i hope it gives them some comfort in this tragic and painful time.

  2. this was a beautiful message. i can't even begin to understand how that kind of loss would feel.

    in reference to disorders- my brother has asperger's and i think that gives him more of an advantage than a setback. he is the most innocent and kindhearted person i know. he is always thinking of how he can show love to someone else, even though that makes him extremely uncomfortable. a selfless love is exactly what god gives and instructs us to give also. i think it's amazing that a child who supposedly has a condition that will keep him from understanding emotions, has it down better than anyone else i know. i know all of that was semi off topic, but i just really felt like i should share that with you. ollie will be fine.

    I'll be sure to pray for all of those affected by Caleb's going home.

    1. thanks for sharing. i agree with you 100%. Those kids have it right. And I know Ollie does. He prays so earnestly.

  3. i am so sorry, davi. and so sad with you. these things are never easy to understand for me either. but i think that's the point sometimes. to make us ponder our savior. and heaven. so thankful for the hope we have in jesus. and in spending eternity with him. i will be praying for caleb's family & for God to move mightily in this devastating news. xo!

  4. I am still shocked and saddened by the news. I grew up going to church with Brad and Maren and then Mia and Caleb when they were young. My heart is breaking for their family.

  5. continued prayers for this sweet family...and you!
    beautiful words here. blessed be his name.


  6. I'm so sorry to hear this - a loss like that is huge. My heart goes out to his family and friends, knowing that in a time like this words are futile, but prayers are precious.

    Earlier this year, close friends of mine lost their precious 14 year-old-son. He just collapsed one morning, and never regained consciousness. He was a brilliant boy close to my heart, and the sense of loss is still acute. So, I have a small window of perspective into the feelings you must be facing in these days.

    Blessings and prayers...

  7. Such sad news..I will be praying for all who loved him.

  8. wow, this is so very sad. i have no words. may he rest in peace.

  9. I read about him in the paper, and was very touched by his story. I'm sure everyone who knew him was incredibly blessed by him. And I'm so glad he is home safe in the arms of Jesus, even while my heart breaks for all those who knew and loved him. They'll be in my prayers. Thanks for writing this thoughtful post, Davi. xoxoxo

  10. I am late in reading this, but thank you for the sweet reminder that God is in control. I have recently been fretting over school decision with my son (with SPD) and worrying about the future. This helped to remind me of things bigger than schoo. God is so big and his plans are so hard to understand at times, but in moments of loss AND in blessing is gives grace and love to those who He calls His children. So sad to hear about this boy and his family but what a awesome thing to know He is walking with Jesus!

  11. so so sad... but the gospel offers us truth in these devastating situations.
    it's not for us to understand.
    we live in sin, it sucks.
    lucky caleb is in heaven praising his saviour.
    i'll be keeping this family in my prayers.
    so sad. :(