A native of Olympia, Washington, Mrs. Beneth Jones received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Interpretation from Bob Jones University in 1959 and completed the master of arts degree in speech in 1961. The courtship that later led her to marriage to Dr. Bob Jones III, Chancellor of Bob Jones University, began when Mrs. Jones portrayed Roxane and Dr. Jones played Christian in “Cyrano.” They named their daughter Roxane. The Joneses also have two sons–Bob IV and Stephen.


Mrs. Jones writes and records the feature “Sunshine on the Soapsuds” for the popular radio program by the same name. Many of these articles have been compiled into books, the latest of which is “Lights on Main Street.” She is the author of “In the Best Possible Light,” a handbook on Christian loveliness; “Ribbing Him Rightly!” a book on Christian wifehood; “Words Fitly Spoken,” a booklet for public speaking; and “The Wilderness Within,” which addresses a woman’s testings and disappointments with encouraging reminders of the Lord’s uninterrupted care and presence.


She has also co-authored “With Heart and Hand,” a manual for women in God’s service; and “Mount Up On Wounded Wings,” a book for Christian women with hurtful home backgrounds. Recently released is her new video series “Patterns of the Christian Woman.” Mrs. Jones also speaks frequently at ladies’ retreats and seminars across the country.


In a parents heart the anticipation of a child’s birth is one of joy and anxiety. Each passing moment brings the day of happiness that much closer, until finally the time comes when God’s precious gift arrives. But there are times when a much expected delivery suddenly becomes a moment of sorrow.


On January 14th 1963, for a brief two hours, God allowed a first born son to be a part of the Joneses family. In the following personal testimony Beneth Jones shares how, through God’s grace, “sorrow… gives way to ever -deepening peace ..” from the assurance found in Mark 10:16 .


In His Arms




Beneth Jones


“And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.”  Mark 10:16


In thinking of the year newly open, a realization struck me with considerable force: January of 2003 marks the 40th year anniversary of our firstborn son’s two-hour lifespan.  At the thought, the past years dissolve and I’m again in those hours of shock, disappointment, and aching loss.


My first pregnancy came in our third year of marriage.  What rejoicing flooded the ranks of the Jones family – all three living generations!  Prenatal months were healthy physically and effervescent emotionally.  Then came January 14.  It was a gray, wet winter day.  Inside the campus hospital, however, all was bright: the hours and the pain of labor became as nothing in the blessed fulfillment of seeing our baby boy held aloft in the doctor’s hands.


But a single cry was all I heard from that tiny human form.  Increased anesthesia swept me into oblivion for the sake of post-partum repair.  Meanwhile, in the aware world, a dramatic and desperate battle was waged- but lost.


When anesthesia released its hold I found myself again neatly ensconced in my hospital bed, a huge vase of yellow roses on the bedside table. But my husband stood beside the flowers.  His face was drawn, and dark shadows underlined his eyes.  His words indelibly recorded themselves: “Honey, God took our baby back to be with Him.”


The hours and days that immediately followed were filled alternately with sweeps of searing pain and numbing disbelief.  The plunge from joyful heights to sorrow’s depths made decisions difficult.  One choice, in particular, I’ve deeply regretted: I opted not to see our dead child.  Had I instead held him in my arms, there could have been a greater degree of physical and emotional closure.  Other decisions proved wiser.  For instance, we chose not to chase a physical “why” by ordering an autopsy.  Despite our agony, we knew with deep certainty that this was what God had lovingly chosen for us.  Our part in the darkness was simply to trust Him who is Light.


Forty years: a long time, and yet a mere droplet in life’s vapor.  Because of God’s grace, the droplet has caught and reflected radiant colors – colors we would have missed had that newborn son stayed to live with us here.  There is the warm yellow of compassion for others’ hurts.  We know the orange of thankfulness for the three children God has left with us here – each of them loving the Lord and serving Him with their lives.  There is the green of ministering comfort to others as we’ve been comforted of God.  The burnishing on the bronze of our marriage was created by our early loss.  The magenta of intimacy in our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father began in sorrow’s shadow.  These and so many more shine from the rainbow of living hope that arches invisibly over a little grave in Woodlawn Cemetery.


Gentled sorrow takes hold each time I revisit our son’s grave, yet it always gives way to ever – deepening peace as my mind goes to a passage of Scripture marked “1/14/63″ in my Bible.  It’s Mark 10:16 and it describes a point in Jesus’ earthly life that holds special poignancy because it tells of His ministry with children: “And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.”  That’s the picture of what happened to our baby’s soul that long – ago January day:  Jesus took him up in his arms.  Surely His mighty, eternal arms are far safer than ours;  His hands are more loving than mine could ever have been; surely the blessing of His face- to- face presence immeasurably surpasses any joy our little one could have known here with us.


Nor does our little grave mark a final separation.  It’s only a semi – colon between earthly life and heavenly.  Reunion lies ahead – sweet, eternal reunion made possible by the sin – cleansing blood of Jesus Christ who declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by Me.”


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