December 22, 2019

My Christmas Promise by Alan Anderson

“…whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”—James 4:14

“but Jesus said, Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”— Matthew 19:14 RSV.

This December post is one I am compelled to write. There are lighter or more fun messages on my heart yet I must present this one. You see, I made a promise to five little children I never met, yet love.

In my Dec. 22, 2015 post, I dedicated it to my four grandbabies that never made it to birth. Not too long after it became five babies to be remembered. Terry and I have six grandchildren who live close by and we love each of them. As a grandfather I am also mindful of the five in heaven. In my grief I promised these children I would never forget them. They matter to me. This post is part of my promise.

Just as in December 2015, my mind bounces from the joy of the birth of Jesus to the cries of parents. They are the parents who grieve the absence of little ones they looked forward to. Grandparents grieve as well for these babies.

In July 2017 I began a Facebook group for grandparents grieving the death of a grandchild. I keep the size of the group manageable by capping membership to seventy-five. The grandchildren the group remembers were not all babies when they died. A vast number of the group mourns in a deep way for their grandchildren. This is especially so during the Christmas season. Each of them made a promise to never forget these grandchildren. Grief is what bonds us together.

Even at Christmas time there is suffering and loss. This time of year is not magical where only smiles and laughter are enjoyed. There are poignant memories taking up residence in my mind and heart. They are a continual prompt for the tone of my writing. I never want these memories to fade. They are reminders of the frailty and vulnerability of life. Life, indeed, is but a vapour, a mist!

When I consider life I tend to become contemplative. To reflect on life and the fact this life is not all there is invites me to look toward the life to come. To meditate in a silent setting I try to grasp the beauty of the Christmas season. Immanuel, God with us, staggers my mind yet also blesses my heart.

My grief wrapped in the love of God, helps soften the sting of it. I do not grieve as one without hope. My grief over the pregnancy losses of my grandchildren does not take God by surprise. My grandchildren are among the citizens of heaven.

Every Christmas season reminds me to cherish life. I am not promised tomorrow therefore, I say glory to God for each day He grants me. I am aware as I become older of how every breath I take is a gift.

Perhaps this post only speaks to me. From my point of view my promise to my grandchildren in heaven is a serious one. As I wrote in 2015,

… these children have not vanished away.  They live in my heart!  They live also where Jesus is!  ….  Children who are not granted physical birth do not cease to exist.  They are not “miscarriages”!  They are not really lost!  This is a belief of hope found in the One who came to earth and was born as a baby.  The One who loves children.

To all my InScribe family, bless you, my friends. You are loved with an everlasting love. Merry Christmas to you and your families.


  1. We must be mindful of all those who are feeling the loss of a loved one during this season. Thank you for this post and God bless.

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tracy. :)

  3. Thanks for writing such a tender post, Alan. You reminded me of a little brother and sister I'll see in heaven. They were 2 months and six months old when they passed away. And yes, I'm remembering those who are in sorrow this Christmas.

    1. Hi Sandi. Thank you for sharing your memory of your brother and sister. You show they have never been forgotten and are loved.

  4. Thank you for sharing so touchingly from your heart, Alan. I too, grieve the loss of twin grandbabies before birth 2 years ago at this time. The anticipation of meeting them in heaven does sooth the grief, yet there will always be two hollow places in my heart for them. For now, God is holding them close, just as He is holding yours close too. May your Christmas be filled with wonder of the Babe of

  5. Hi Valerie. Yes, our grandchildren are never forgotten. You are right about the "hollow places" in our hearts. The anticipation of being with them one day is true comfort. :)

  6. "I am not promised tomorrow." Those words provide a reminder of how precious our days really are. The verse you opened with regarding the "mist" is a scripture that remains so vivid in my mind because the Pastor in Florida preached a sermon around that and used a spray bottle to help give us a visual of the mist. Love your post and your heart!

  7. Hi, Vickie! My dear friend. Thank you for your comments. The visual the pastor used I'm sure got the point across. I can't wait to read your next post.

  8. Hi Alan,
    "My grief wrapped in the love of God." I love this phrase! Without God, our grief is bitter and endless. Our grief, wrapped in the love of God, leads to hope and eternity with those we now miss. I'm looking forward to spending eternity with Toby, my child I haven't met yet.


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