I was watching a movie the other night. In it, a character was talking about a child who had died far too soon. She said, “I see him running through wildflowers in heaven. He’s totally in the moment. Then, he turns and sees me and smiles. Then I realized that a blink of an eye for him was my whole life.”

I gotta be honest, that sent me spinning. 

I have lost two children to abortion. I immediately thought of them. I thought of them in the presence of God and happy and at peace. And I thought of the life I deprived them of by not fighting harder to stop the abortion.. I didn’t. And now they are there and I am here. 

Then, in another scene, a young man who represents “Time” is talking to a woman and tells her that our children don’t come from us but pass through us. And that sent me spinning again. 

I have four sons. One I didn’t meet until he was eleven, one that I didn’t “make” and two I did. That’s a lot to process, I get it, but regardless of that, I have four sons. 

I have struggled and succeeded and failed. But I am a father and, more importantly, I am a dad. And each of my sons are beautiful people. They are amazingly gifted. And they are artfully created by God. They have passed through me. 

And so have a lot of other young people. I coached for almost two decades. Mostly soccer, but it didn’t matter the sport. I coached. I didn’t do it because I wanted to make champions in whatever sport. I did it to pour into young people. I did it to positively impact the next generation. Whether I succeeded is up for debate. 

But there are many young adults that still call me dad…I’ll call that a win. 

And each one of them passed through me.

And that brings me back to the beginning of this post and that moment in the movie. My first two children were never allowed to be born. 

For years I carried toxic, crippling shame about those children. But, like the woman in the film, I too had a realization. The idea that, for whatever brief time they experienced life, it did matter. And while God didn’t plan for them to be aborted, he can use that truth of the short life each lived for good. 

Those two children never lived outside the womb, yet they profoundly impacted my life. They way I parented and the way I have interacted with children over the past 30 years. Some of it was dysfunctional for certain, but much of it wasn’t. It was a tenderness born out of loss. So when I think of the kids that have passed through me over the years I can’t help but to think of the children I lost…and through a touch of sadness I can also smile. 

I know they are seated at the feet of God and someday I will see them again. And for them, it will be the blink of an eye.