I was debilitated by grief for my friend whom I only know via the internet. I had read all sorts of stories about Jack and his sister Margaret on their mom's blog, and I had only just viewed the back-to-school photos she posted.
Beyond prayer, I felt like I had no comfort to offer her. I needed to do something, but what?
In time, Anna asked for Jack to be remembered in gifts to Samaritan's Purse and especially to Jack's favorite charity, Operation Christmas Child. My class had put together a few boxes the previous year, and then last year with Jack in our hearts we packed up more. I did my own box, a box for an older boy. Anna guided me, when I asked, with ideas of things Jack would have liked himself or things he would have put in a box for a boy his age. In the box I included a note about Jack along with a picture of him.
Also late last summer, at the same time, my friend Jenn began in earnest her fundraising to adopt a child from Haiti. To say she has a heart for Haiti is an understatement. She very much would like to be a mom, and I helped her a bit in some of her efforts.
Stay with me now, please stay with me.
Last night, my friend Dori sent me a link to a Samaritan's Purse website, Opened this morning, it was a collection of pictures of children in Haiti receiving Operation Christmas Child boxes. She told me to scroll down to the photo of a child holding a Snoopy wrapped box. You see, at my Christmas in July party, I had covered our craft table with some blue Snoopy paper, and she thought she recognized it...
The photo from Samaritan's Purse
She was correct. It was the same paper from the party, leftover from the paper I used to wrap the box I thought of as from Jack to "my" boy. It was the same size box (my son's sized shoes). Could it be?
I wept, I laughed, I shouted to call Brad into the office, I contacted Anna, I sent Jenn the link, I praised God! I went to school and smiled all day at the thought of it all.
Jack + OCC + Haiti = God at work. There is no other explanation.
There are links throughout this post, but this one is from Anna's blog--it's her eulogy for Jack, her beloved son who firmly believed in Luke 1:37.
With God, all things are possible.
This post was recently linked to a post on Anna's blog promoting OCC. I was touched by that, and I welcome all visitors. However, one commenter pointed out that this box could not be Jack's box because of the age marked on the label. I enlarged the photo to determine she was most likely correct. Then I wrestled with what to do about this post.
I have decided to keep it up. I've decided that when I pack boxes this time around, I will think of Jack AND the boy/young man in this photo. Both their smiles continue to warm my heart and are great examples of God's love. We must continue to reach out to others, and I reach offering a shoebox in memory of Jack.
October 25, 2012