(On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 a toddler in a town nearby was missing. Isaiah lived with his parents in the country, just outside a little village of barely 1000 people. Even so, over 4,000 people joined in the search for Isaiah. Just over 24 hours later, the toddler was found in the locked trunk of a car. Perhaps a game of hide-and-seek gone wrong? We’ll never know. However, the area has been devastated by the loss. Following is the prelude to a prayer I was honored to make at a community candle light vigil the day after Isaiah was found. My purpose for posting it is two-fold. First for those who have lost a child, may this encourage you. Secondly, for those who are faced with similar situations, may these words offer words of support. God Bless you all, and may God offer comfort to Dad, Mom and brother.)

 

In honor of Isaiah Theis

During times of tragedy there are always the questions of why and how. There are the thoughts of ‘what if’ and ‘if onlys’. But in the end what really matters is that we are a hurting people. Hurting people show hurt in different ways. Some show it in anger, others in sorrow.

Tonight we come together to remember, to cry, to wonder, to celebrate a life. Each of us grieves in our own personal way. For those of you who knew the rambunctious and unpredictable Isaiah, you have a hole in your heart only time will heal. Those of us who prayed and walked and gave of our material possessions did so because we felt we could make a difference and now feel a great loss even though we didn’t know him.

As we pray together I want to share a verse with you from a book in the Bible that bears Isaiah’s name. Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Tonight, although we weep, we also know that Isaiah is in the arms of Jesus Christ. We mourn, but not as a people with no hope for in Jesus Christ there is always hope. Tragedy can either pull us apart or it can bring us together and make us stronger. Let the memory of Isaiah make us a closer, stronger community.

You came to look for Isaiah because you wanted to make a difference and you still can. There is no pain greater than to lose a child. The search for Isaiah is over; the opportunity to support his family and each other has only begun.

And so, we come before a God who loves us, forgives us, and at times confuses us, but never leaves us. Let us pray for Isaiah’s family and friends, and for ourselves. Let us hold our children and loved ones close and pray that God’s love will grow among us because of our continued support of each other.

Let us pray!

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