My heart is broken today. Last night one of the members of our church called and left a voicemail on my phone as he made the rounds, trying to reach one of us pastors. By his voice, I knew it might be one of those calls that no one wants to receive. I called him back shortly after and Tim Cook let me know in wavering tones that their five month old had just passed away, likely from SIDS.
I’m a pastor. Taking calls like this is part of what I do. It’s an inexpressible honor and privilege to walk with people through the hardest moments of their lives, but it’s never easy, never wanted. It hurts and my heart breaks in sympathy and compassion for them. And though I know the truth that brings hope in the midst of such painful circumstances, I can’t help but sit in silence in those first raw moments, grieving for my friends. All I could find to say to Tim was, “I’m sorry, Tim. I’m so very sorry.”
I’m mourning for Tim and Amanda. Not for Preston. Preston is with Jesus, but the loving family he left must weep and cry and mourn their little boy’s passing. And they will. And God will supernaturally comfort them, even as they sit in dust and ashes. I sit with them. Don and the elders sit with them. Their small group sits with them. And we all are praying.
“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”
(Job 2:11–13 ESV)
Tim and Amanda need space for the moment. They’ve asked for prayer and welcome encouragement through email and Facebook but are asking that people hold their calls and visits as they process this. Please respect this, but please join us as we “sit” with them and share their pain as a loving church family, waiting expectantly for the healing comfort and love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who knows our hurt and someday will take it all away.
Tim, Amanda, and Lincoln, we are with you and love you.