“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Jean Echlin (85)
Jean Echlin

You were born sixty years ago.
In all the intervening time, I have never forgotten
the essence of your little being.

You were a beautiful, blond baby boy,
weighing into this world
at eight pounds, fourteen ounces.
Your cheeks had delightful dimples
when you smiled,
and I thank God that I saw your smile!
Your eyes were so blue
they were almost violet.
When you studied my face,
it seemed to me
I had a glimpse of eternity.

Your hair was very blond and so long
it touched your shoulders.
You were called the “straw hat” baby in the nursery
-just like the sister and brothers who followed you.
You had your dad’s broad shoulders and chest.
You would have had a marvelous build---
except you would not have been able to stand tall
or walk, had you lived.

Your cry was deep and heart wrenching.
It came from your soul
and your distress.
You were so loved and wanted.
But your little life was not to last for long.
Your spine had a cruel flaw.
The bones protecting your spinal cord
had not closed
as God was “knitting together”
your wee body in my womb.
The medical diagnosis was
spina bifida with meningomyelocele.
Big, cold sounding words
for an infant’s delicate body.
Worse it was labeled inoperable
by the best neurosurgeons in
North America.

Your body became tortured when you eventually
developed meningitis.
You had so many seizures every day
and there seemed so little to comfort you
except holding you
and loving you.
Tears and prayers were constant.
While I prayed for a miracle,
I knew deep in my heart
this would not be.

Your tiny, innocent spirit
returned to God
Who gave it.
Your adorable, little body
returned to the earth
from which it was formed.

But, little one,
God sent you with a special message
straight from His heart.
Your small person and short life
taught me my life’s mission.
You showed us all the amazing strength
of strong family ties, unity and support.
You let me see the bald, haggard face
of a mother’s grief that lasts in many ways
for a lifetime.
You taught me the horror of death
without needed relief from suffering.
You showed me the finality of life
when the last small tears
were squeezed from your eyes.

You let me see a peace and beauty
that transcends mortality,
as you lay in your tiny white coffin.
A strange tranquility settled over
my aching soul
as I thought of you
walking straight and tall
in Christ’s Kingdom.
You will have no more pain or tears.
You will no longer be paralyzed!

I do not remember them
putting your casket in the ground.
Perhaps I was spared that memory.
I do recall vividly,
covering your precious little body with a
white, satin-bound blanket,
when I was asked to do so,
before they closed the lid
that would seal you physically
and forever from your
grieving mother.

Thomas Andrew Echlin, my beloved baby son,
I believe with all my heart and soul
that we will meet again in God’s eternity.
Your life and your death set me on a path
that has fulfilled a large part
of my destiny.
God gave you to me for awhile,
and I shall never forget
you or your message.

You told me to help the frail, the weak, the sick and the dying.
You told me to do everything possible
to ease the pain and suffering of
God’s hurting children.
The Lord Himself enabled me
to hear your message---
to find a meaning in the awful suffering
of a tiny baby.

Your few weeks on this earth were like being
kissed by an angel
—a fragile breath that blessed my life
for all time.
I hold you in my heart, precious baby.
Your sweet memory will always be
part of my life
while I am in this world.
My greatest comfort is that your innocence
was spared all the evil of living,
and you are safe in the Paradise
we are promised.

Love through all Eternity
Your Mother.

D. Jean Andrews Echlin

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