Original photo by Dave
Daily Reformation, 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
From the Reformer
He was deeply grieved by the early death of his favorite daughter Lena (Magdalen), a pious, gentle, and affectionate girl of fourteen, with large, imaginative eyes, and full of promise. “I love her very much,” he prayed; “but, dear God, if it is thy holy will to take her hence, I would gladly leave her with Thee.” And to her he said, “Lena dear, my little daughter, thou wouldst love to remain here with thy father: art thou willing to go to that other Father?” “Yes, dear father,” she replied, “just as God wills.” And when she was dying, he fell on his knees beside her bed, wept bitterly, and prayed for her redemption. As she lay in her coffin, he exclaimed, “Ah! my darling Lena, thou wilt rise again, and shine like a star—yea, as a sun. I am happy in the spirit, but very sorrowful in the flesh.” He wrote to his friend Jonas: “You will have heard that my dearest child is born again into the eternal kingdom of God. We ought to be glad at her departure, for she is taken away from the world, the flesh, and the devil; but so strong is natural love that we cannot bear it without anguish of heart, without the sense of death in ourselves.” On her tomb he inscribed these lines:
Here do I Lena, Luther’s daughter, rest,
Sleep in my little bed with all the blessed.
In sin and trespass was I born;
Forever would I be forlorn,
But yet I live, and all is good –
Thou, Christ, didst save me with thy blood.
—Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church
Pulling It Together
How strong is the love of a parent for the child? Whether they do right or wrong, the normal mother and father still love their children. Sometimes the parent loves to a fault, as many parents do in not letting their children learn from mistakes and instead, seemingly rewarding their bad behavior with nice things. The child’s task is to honor the parent and sometimes this is difficult. The parent’s mission is to love the child and though the child often tries to make this task difficult, it is never a chore. The ordinary parent will still love their children when they are at their worst. How much more will they love and adore the children who honor them!
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers