Saturday, January 9, 2010

Two Years...

2 years ago today Brighton Asher Hoffman went home to be with his heavenly Father. Not a single day goes by that we don't think about our son. Today on my run I found myself thinking about his last day and what it was like. And though I want to believe it was peaceful and quiet and gentle - the harsh fact is it was probably anything but... it was probably more like this:

His lips were likely dry and cracked - his skin taut and flaky and lacking in color. His sunken eyes shed no tears when he cried and his lethargy and dry diapers were just two more vivid indicators of his condition. His tiny fevered body probably had chills resulting in severe shaking. His rapid heart and breathing rate combined with his dizziness, confusion and disorientation only added to his agitation. There is a high chance he had developed a rash - a reddish discoloration or small dark red dots throughout his body. And it's likely he was experiencing severe pain in his wrists, elbows, back, hips, knees and ankles. And on top of that his chest pain and shortness of breath only added to the difficulty of breathing through his coughing spells.

I can only imagine the panic going on around him as well. The caregivers at his orphanage loved him like we did - and on top of that they knew a family had stepped up and said "That's our son," so the urgency was even more real. I don't know for sure - but I like to think that he was being held, cradled or rocked as he drew in his last earthly breath.

And that was just the physical side of things. I get an image of a spiritual battlefield when I think of what came next. We all know that Brighton - being made whole again - trotted right across that battlefield and in to the welcoming arms of Jesus. But I see satan looking past Brighton and setting his gaze on us. And he's smiling. He thinks he has won a battle. I can just see him now with his pen,clipboard and checklist:

"Infertility. Check!"
"Outrageous wait for China adoption. Check!"
"Death of their firstborn son. Check!"

He's greedily rubbing his hands now because he thinks he has us. And I imagine God on the other side of that field - like a hardened football coach who has seen these battles so many times. He doesn't intervene. He has faith in his players. "Remember what I showed you," he thinks to himself as He watches His children react. "Remember what has already been done."

The beauty of all this to me is that God can take something like this - something full of ick and ewww and ugh - and use it for the good of His people and His kingdom. In this case he let the life of one tiny little 76 day old boy be exchanged for the lives of two of His sheep. 2,000 years after He gave his only begotten son for the sake of all mankind - He used the life of Brighton to turn our eyes towards Him. And we have not been the same since.

This week in particular we have felt our hearts swell just a little bit. Because in spite of losing a dear family member - we find peace and warmth in the truth that Brighton is in Heaven probably yelling "One, Two, Three, Swing!" and being swung along on one side by his great-papa Deskins and on the other side by Jesus.

Brighton - you're in great hands. And until we get there to hold you ourselves - you remember and know that your life had a purpose. A really big purpose.

We love you...


Cristy said...

The life of Brighton has touched so many, and he is not forgotten. I have used your story many times to share with people that we can do more, give more, and make a difference in the lives of orphans world wide.

I want to be that kind of person. Brighton's short life has inspired and encouraged me to have a heart for the orphans beyond our family.

Thank you for sharing your son with us and encouraging us yet again.

Unknown said...

So sorry, guys. We are thinking of you, and our lives have also been impacted by little Brighton.

Thanks for being willing to put the hard stuff...the real deal... out there.

Tizita said...

WOW!!! i couldnt stop myself from crying while reading ur beautful story. words are just to small to express what im feeling right now. wow, wow, wow, wow. people make a commitment to love someone till death do them apart....and others love them even if death do them apart (Like you and Laura). may GOD bless u and ur family.

Our family said...

Amazing post! It makes me think of our little Sophonias' battle as well. What little warriors we have!

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Your analalogy of God as coach has really made me think. I am struggling right now with a lot...sickness in my immediate family, processing what I know about Ethiopia and the suffering there...I have been feeling diconnected with religion, faith an deven God. Your words have helped me look at it all abit differently. I thank you and I thank your son.

the heaths said...

Awesome post, thinking of the you guys and sweet Brighton. xxoo