Melinda came tumbling down the stairs on that Saturday morning, excited to join her family and happy just to be alive. She could smell the aroma of bacon sizzling and pancakes on her mother’s griddle. It seemed like a lifetime since she had enjoyed a breakfast with her family that consisted of more than cold cereal and cold stares. The little girl had been through so much. It was only six months ago that Aaron died. He was only nine years old. In Melinda’s world, death did not come at such a young age. She could not understand why God had to take her brother and why her mommy and daddy were so angry at one another. In an instant, on that fateful Friday afternoon, her little world was forever changed. Aaron had always been told not to ride his bicycle in the streets unless mommy or daddy were with him, but that day he must have forgotten. Feeling the joy and freedom that little boys do as they fly down the hill on their bicycles, like they are king of the world, Aaron rushed down the driveway, past mom’s van and into the street. He could not see the car that was coming due to the van in the driveway, and Aaron met his fate in the face of a car that could not stop in time to save his life. His little body went tumbling into the air, landing cruely upon the cold hard pavement. His tender frame was no match for the pavement. Aaron died that day and nothing was ever the same. That is, until now.
Mommy cried all the time. Daddy never said a word, not even to Melinda. Something bad had happened to her parents and Melinda wanted it to stop. She was only six years old. She did not understand why everybody was so mad. Why couldn’t they just be sad like she was. She missed her brother every day. Even though they used to fight, she loved him so much. He was secretly her hero. Aaron would do things that Melinda only dreamed of doing, like sliding down the banister of the stairwell. She wanted to join him, but she was so afraid. The day that Aaron died, the fun and the laughter, and it seemed the love, died with him.
Just two nights ago, on Thursday, Melinda tucked herself in bed. Her parents used to tuck her in every night, but that had stopped too. Before she turned off her lamp, her little hands reached for the bible that sat upon her bedside table. She carefully opened the pages and read “When my father and my mother leave me, then the Lord will take care of me.” Melinda began to cry. She never knew that God would take care of her even though her mommy and daddy could not. She felt real happiness for the first time in so long, what seemed an eternity to a little girl. For the first time in so long, Melinda went to sleep surrounded by peace.
The following day, Melinda told her mommy and daddy what she read in the bible. Stunned silence filled the room. Slowly, mom and dad set their gaze upon one another as tears filled their eyes. A light had come on and the Lord allowed them to see the wonder and the joy of their daughter Melinda, who they still had, who needed them so desperately. In their great grief and sorrow over the loss of Aaron, they lost focus of what they did have; beautiful, once so happy, joyous Melinda, their little girl. Jesus himself said “out of the mouth of babes, you have perfected praise”. Something happened that was so wonderful, so different, and so welcome on this Friday afternoon. Suddenly, Mommy and Daddy received a child rather than lost one. The sad thing is, little Melinda was always there. They just could not see her in the midst of their own pain. God is a God of restoration and He used a child to bring restoration to Melinda’s family. I think the days of bacon and pancakes are finally here to stay.