Miscarriage, Melancholy, And A Methodist Gem

Not too long ago, I received a message from my friend and colleague Dennis Sult that a couple in our church had suffered a miscarriage.

The grief was multiplied by the fact that the loss of the baby occurred relatively late in the pregnancy.

Mom and Dad asked if someone from the church would come and pray over baby, loss, and family.

So Dennis and I went together.

He carries a small book that I have thought of myself as too “contemporary” or “spontaneous” to own:  The Pastor’s Pocket Edition of The United Methodist Book Of Worship.

And included in its pages is a brief, lovely, Service Of Death And Resurrection For A Stillborn Child.  When we arrived in the somber hospital room, Dennis led the four of us through it with the kind of vocal love at which he excels.

We don’t often read prayers at Good Shepherd.  However, what more appropriate time than this — a time when sadness renders you speechless — to rely on words that others have prayed to God before you?  Here’s the prayer portion I found most moving:

Blessed Jesus, lover of children,
in lowliness of heart we cry to you for help.
 Expecting the life of a child, we have witnessed his death.
Our despair is profound,
and we know you weep with us in our loss.
Help us to hear your consoling voice,
and give healing to our grief, merciful Savior.  Amen.

In those moments, I couldn’t have said it at all — much less said it better — myself.

Thanks to this liturgical resource, I don’t have to.