There was a star that night. That night of the end of his first year in Heaven and the beginning of the second one.
Perhaps it was in fact a planet.
I’m sure that’s what the magi wondered when the saw the star rising in the East that morning. They decided to follow it. And we followed ours.
Up the long slowly rising hill of grass that held the bodies of so many loved ones, and holds the body of our little boy.
“Let’s chase the star, Mommy!” my little one said. So up the hill we ran fast. My feet heavy with each step, but still moving forward – carried by my little one’s rush.
That day of his birth into Heaven. My son’s birthday in Heaven, I ran with my girls and we chased after stars. I’ve been chasing things the last few months. Grasping wildly for things to hold onto. Control of my husband’s health; control of my finances; control of my schedule and my plans and my dreams and my vacations and my whatever….
“I don’t think we can catch it Mommy.” she said, her shoulders slumped over and her head hanging down. “That’s OK, honey. I think it’s just too far away for us tonight.” And we turned around and walked back where little Kyle lay – right at my feet, but too far away for me to touch.
I wondered how many times those wise men wanted to give up chasing after that star. And how many times they thought they’d never catch it.
Oh, there’s so many stars I’ve chased and searched after and not caught. I’ve been so disappointed. I haven’t caught them.
Then I look again at Matthew’s Gospel and read what those men of wisdom asked, “Where is the King? We have seen his star, and have come to worship Him.”
And I choke down tears, because I realize in that moment that they didn’t chase a star. They only saw it rising over the horizon. They were chasing after God. When they saw the star they knew, that God, in flesh was here with us. Emmanuel. And they wanted to be with Him where He was.
And right then in that moment of tears of sadness while 31 balloons were bouncing above my head in the wind to signify each one of Kyle’s precious weeks alive with us, I knew that God was with me.
That right in the middle of the darkness – that’s where God shines brightest for me.
I had one gold balloon for birthday #1 in Heaven.
“Mommy?” My little one turned and looked at the star again, a little breathless after our jaunt. “Mommy? There’s one star. Because baby Kyle is one in Heaven today.”
And as that star was right over where my baby lay, the star was over where the child-God lay. The wise men weren’t chasing stars – they were looking for God. I can’t keep chasing stars. I’ll never catch them. I have to look for God.
Because, as those wise men and their camels and their gifts went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them, stopped over the place where the child was…
Not because they caught the star, but because they were with God.
We sent off our balloons and they went up and up. “Happy Birthday, Baby Kyle!” My little ones said. A few got stuck in a tree. A few popped in the limbs. But the gold one made it all the way up.
I quietly walked to my car and I turned to look again in that sky. The balloons were long gone. But the star was still there. That one star for one year for my little baby. That one star that said to me “God is with you today, and tomorrow. Keep looking for me and you can keep finding joy. ”
And I can always see Him best when it’s dark.
Some of you have been amazingly supportive of our journey this last year. And I can’t thank you all enough. You’ve been such an encouragement to our family. This is a special birthday video my sweet sister made for me – along with a gift that almost 100 of you took part in. I can’t thank you all enough!