In 2016, February was a month of joy and severe sadness. My wife has admirably documented the experience of our first miscarriage. There were many invaluable friends with kinds words. There were great theological quotes and short statements that helped fill moments of silence. But I genuinely wish someone had sent me this quote from R.B. Kuiper in his book The Glorious Body of Christ.
In a chapter on "Holy Children," Kuiper speaks about covenant children in the church visible, invisible, and triumphant. The children of the church triumphant are those lost in infancy and Kuiper's clear and powerful words were timely received as I approach the anniversary of our loss.
"If a covenant child dies in infancy, is there any way of ascertaining whether it was born again? In other words, can believing parents be certain of the salvation of those of their children who are taken from them in infancy? It is not difficult to see that this question is one of supreme concern to all Christian parents.
A child of the covenant has died. The hearts of the parents are bleeding and bid fair to break. Their pastor seeks to console them. What shall he say?
He should base his efforts to console the bereaved parents on the objective promises of the covenant of grace ... This child was a child of the covenant. God promised to be its God. It had the divine promise of eternal life. That promise is contained in God's Word and was confirmed by Him in the sacrament of holy baptism. Had the child grown up, it would have had to embrace that promise in personal, active faith. As it is, it could neither accept nor reject that promise. Therefore the promise stands. The faithful covenant God has kept and fulfilled it. He did as a matter of indubitable fact wash this His child of its sins by the blood and the Spirit of Christ. Forgiven and regenerated, it passed through the gate into the city of God. Even while the parents are bidding its wasted body a last heartbreaking farewell, the angels of God are welcoming its pure spirit. While the parents are convulsed with inward pain, the good Shepherd lifts the little lamb in His arms, holds it in His fond embrace and carries it in His bosom. While the parents would fain have their little one return to them, the Saviour whispers: 'Suffer this little child to come to me and forbid it not, for of it is the kingdom of God.' And lovingly He lays His hand upon its head and blesses it (Mark 10:14-16). While the parents sigh and sob, their child vies with Gabriel as it sings to the accompaniment of harps of gold the praises of its Redeemer."