Sunday, October 28, 2012

the gift of matthew

my heart is heavy.

so heavy right now.

matthew butler...the boy we have been praying for, the boy we have been believing for, the boy who we thought a miracle had come for... is gone. he has died.

and i can't even imagine the pain his family feels. i can't imagine it.

i can't imagine how his mom and dad try to process this pain. i can't imagine how they even form a thought in the middle of such emotion.

because it doesn't seem fair. and it doesn't seem right. and it doesn't make sense.

and i'm not sure that it ever will.

when my sister died, even though she was in her 50's, my dad was devastated. he said to me on the plane ride to her funeral, "how does a parent outlive a child?". and i didn't know what to say.

because no matter the age, a child is always a child in a parent's heart. they remember the day they were born. they remember the silly moments. they remember the silly fights.

and they laugh, and they smile, and they cry.

i can't even imagine how much they cry.

and as Christians, as matthew being a Christian, we rejoice.

of COURSE, we rejoice.

because he is in a better place. because he is in Heaven.

because he is with Jesus.

but as broken, wearied and hopeful humans...sometimes that isn't enough for the moment.

it should be, but it isn't.

the rejoicing doesn't come right away, because we still want him here. we still want to hear his voice. we still want to see his smile. we still want him to walk out of that hospital room and live his life.

we still want him to change the world.

but through our tears, through our brokenness, through our heavy hearts...through all of our questions, and all of our sadness, we have to remember that has already has.

and we have to remember that he doesn't have to be here to keep doing so.

as i write this my 8 year old son is trying to find happy music to sing to me so i won't be sad. and it makes me cry harder. because it's that kind of love that makes us all cry right now.

it's the love of a child. it's the love of a parent. it's the love that never gives up.

it's the love that hopes even in middle of the hopeless moments.

and it's that kind of love that helps us all to go on.

oh Lord, we pray for peace.

for matthew's parents, for his sisters, for his family, for his friends. 

for all those whose life was made better because of him.

we pray Lord, for that peace that passes all understanding. we pray for comfort in the weak moments. we pray for strength, for courage, for hope. 

oh Lord, we pray for hope.

help us Lord to see you in this. help us to feel you. help us to know. help us to understand.

Lord, help us to hold on in the middle of the storm.

because sometimes Lord the holding on is just as hard as letting go.

my heart knows that matthew really isn't gone. he may be gone from this world but he isn't gone from our lives. he isn't gone from our memories. and he'll never be gone from our hearts.

matthew butler lives on in all of us.

matthew butler should always live on in all of us.

his life, his love, his gift, should forever be a part of us.

and that may be the miracle God was giving us all along.

rest in peace, sweet matthew. your race is finished.

well done, thy faithful servant, well done. 


  1. Matt was one of the most influential people in my life, he taught me to never give up, to have strong political views, and always smile. Your writing is so reassuring. Thank you. (:

  2. ~thank you Colleen.


Never stop planting good seed