I usually don’t get interrupted during the singing part of bedtime. It seems to be my kids favorite part. After we pray for everyone in our family, including pets by name and a list of emergency responders, plus Kaylee added years ago anyone who needed a hug and a kiss, I sing. For ten years, I have sung each child “their” song two times through. I have sung Amazing Grace to Kaylee almost every night of her life and even on nights when Daddy put her to bed. It is her song and I picked it to be her song, because it was her Grandma Ruby’s favorite. When Ruby passed away ten years ago this November, we found countless versions on CD’s and cassettes and even played two different versions at her funeral. When Kaylee was just a little newborn, I mourned that she wouldn’t know the adoration and affection of her Grandma Ruby. I wanted her to have a connection even if it was only a song.
Two nights ago at bedtime, my sweet eight-year old daughter stopped me during our nightly singing ritual. She had reached out and touched my arm as I sang to her. She said, “Momma, I sure hope that Chad is found, since he is lost.” My throat closed up, my heart raced and my tears welled up instantly. She made such a deep connection while I was singing “her song”… Amazing Grace. Earlier that day, I had shared with her some high-level details about how our community was gathering to find a lost runner. Our conversation had ended with little discussion, but she had continued to process being lost.
When she heard the line, “I once was lost, but now I am found,” it struck like a gong and impacted her heart greatly. She showed me how she understands our connection with those in our family and in God’s greater family. Her tenderness as she asked to pray with me that God would be with Chad until he was found was pure love. I have witnessed pure love, self-sacrifice and unrelenting spirit this week. I have been so impressed by the many Spirit-led posts and offerings on the Bring Chad Rogers Home Facebook the past five days. I think our town of 29,000 (and something) realized how blessed and gifted we are collectively when the Holy Spirit leads us to one another. No one wanted this ending for the search. We hoped and prayed for happy news. Some will question why God would do this, but instead of question I hope they seek stillness and prayer. To search for their own Amazing Grace with God.
Like Chad Rogers, Ruby left us much too soon with a hole in our family. And not a day goes by that her name isn’t spoken from my lips with my children. She would have continued to go bananas for the 4 grandsons she had before she passed and she would have gone ape-wild for her one granddaughter and five more grandsons. Even with the hole, I find that I can keep her alive to my children. I mention how she would call Ian “Butch” as baby or how Rhett and Kaylee have her nail beds or how as a retired junior-high math teacher she would have been delighted to see my children love math. The hole seems smaller then, but even after ten years I can still remember so many details of her and I want so badly for my kids to grow up knowing their Grandma Ruby loves them all the way from heaven.
I hope and pray for Amazing Grace for Chad’s family that now has a hole like ours, when someone you love leaves too soon. I hope our community shows the same level of rallying and support the trust fund in Chad’s name to help his family. Please consider donating to the Chad Rogers Memorial Fund c/o US Bank, 1909 W Kansas St. Liberty MO. 64068