When Harper was very little (2-8 months) he would stare into the same front corner of our living room and smile. This was back when he had trouble visually focusing on things and his head bobbled everywhere. It really freaked me out for a while because it was just like he was looking at someone. His little smiles and laughs were just like the reactions that he had when I would make silly faces at him. He would stare into the corner and smile and giggle as if someone was making their own invisible silly faces at him.
I immediately thought of what Scott Langdon and I had discussed about 5 years before – that he believes that our spirits are eternal and that we, in heaven, choose to be born into this world so that we can gain an enlightening experience for the purpose of building greater appreciation for God and the heavenly world. Scott believes that when we are born into this world, there is a small part of us that remembers the eternal world from which we came; like there is a spill-over period of time where we remember personal experiences from both worlds simultaneously.
So in watching Harper, I perceived that perhaps this was something of what was happening to him. I came to believe that he was seeing a guardian angel who was making funny, smiling faces at him. The bible speaks of guardian angels and that God has sent them to watch over us. Therefore, this idea not only seemed quite plausible, but also very comforting – that God’s angelic servant, at the behest of God, was watching over my newborn son and that my special miracle of a boy had a personal connection to the divine in his infancy.
In watching all this, I realized the bittersweet truth that as the newborn gray of Harper’s eyes faded, the direct vision of God’s servant wasn’t to last. Harper, like all the rest of us, was destined to slide deeper into this world and further out of the spiritual world. His corruption process began the moment he took his first breath. It is a wonderful grace, for which I am deeply thankful, that God allowed his messenger to remain in Harper’s vision as long as he did. It is a symbol of God’s longing to be with him. But the taint of sin on this world is too powerful and Harper’s soul grew larger with each earthly breath, thereby diminishing his spirit. The angel disappeared from his sight.
Sometimes, while not able to see him, I would talk to the angel in the corner. I would thank him for his protection of my son and for the blessing of his presence. Though Harper, Tara and I don’t have eyes to see him now, I still thank him and the One who sent him to my son.