A SWEET ATTRACTION
In 1994, when Rick and Maureen Barker lost their little 5 year-old Rickey to a long term illness, a rare disorder of his digestive tract, they needed hope. They needed a picture of the eternal perspective we have in Christ.
And the hope they needed came in a most unusual form.
Maureen had a dear friend named Mary Jane Shugart who was her family’s historian. Mary Jane had books, pictures, and keepsakes that spanned more than 140 years of family history. Her great, great grandfather, the Reverend Rutgers Van Brunt who lived in the 1800’s, lost 3 of his children to sudden childhood illness.
Mary Jane gave the Barkers a copy of Van Brunt’s journal. There he recorded his grief and his hope. “We now have 3 sweet children in glory! Oh! What dear ties are these to heaven! How near and sweet they make it to us! When shall we go hither and join the sweet ones!”
Maureen felt like Van Brunt was speaking to her, that he had written these pages in 1840 just for Maureen’s benefit—it was a heart to heart conversation that somehow transcended time.
The words were a balm of comfort to Maureen and Rick. But it was more than words-- the heavenly reunion of which Van Brunt had spoken was now a reality. Maureen was overwhelmed with the thought. 134 years after writing these pages of grief, 134 years after speaking of ...
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