He is laughing more than ever, crawling more than ever, and has figured out how to make sounds thru his tracheostomy (which excites him more than anything else).
It has been beautiful to see him recover.
But, let’s just be honest. Last week was unexpected and tough. Quite tough.
As I reflect back over my journal entries from those 9 days (that were supposed to be 4 days) in the glorious beauty of that mountain city, I am surprised by the depth of pain I felt as I walked thru that time of Adam’s pneumonia.
Not as much pain as frustration…the frustration of “this was not what I expected”.
“Who would have thought that husband, Adam, Hadassah, and I would come here for a “getaway”/”break”/”holiday”…and be pinned into a hospital room and 1 house?
And the rains would fall.
And the fever would rise.
And the secretions would increase.
And my baby would seem to only go downhill.
It was supposed to be a time of
And we would all only go “uphill” from there.
(Temporarily forgetting that we serve a King who came down, from heaven to earth, and continued to go down, LOW, His whole life on earth.
And, yes, He came to be lowered, so that we may be lifted up to a place of REST, but we are called to an attitude like Him, who “considered Himself nothing, and gave Himself over to death…even death on a cross”)
Who would have thought last week would go like it did?
The question reminds me of a hymn that has been playing over and over in my heart and mind this week.
“Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT
that a LAMB could RESCUE the SOULS OF MAN”
Certainly not us, mankind.
Let me share a link with you. To a story shared by a woman whose writing you should read, if you do not already. Her name is Ann Voskamp. She writes of 2 men named Franciszek Gajowniczek and Maximillian Kolbe . And let me just say, if we didn’t already have a name picked out for our son on the way, he just may be named Maximillian or Kolbe…
Please take a moment and read this.
If needed, take a moment to take off your shoes. Take a bended knee. And praise Him, the One who took our place, as Maximillian Kolbe did.
We read that last week. Day 3 of Adam’s sickness. And it wrecked me. It truly did. For if a man, in Auschwitz , of all places could write his mother to not worry about him, that all was well. And that
all “because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love”
REALLY Maximillian Kolbe ? Can you REALLY say that as you step forward, in place of another man?
Are you tempted to just step back and say in your heart “it has already been done, long before me…I am saved. I am safe…It is finished…I am almost out of here…surely I ALSO DO NOT NEED to DIE” OR
Are you tempted to say that you ONCE thought there was a good God everywhere…but you are starting to believe He does not give necessarily “good gifts”
“Who would have thought?”
Could there not be a different ending?
Like, maybe, the hearts of the Nazis are moved by the compassion in this man that is such a stark contrast to the brutality and hatred they are being instructed in and carrying out?
And they let all the men go free?
And all the men eat a feast and run to their families, each member still present and accounted for.
Yes, that sounds “happily ever after”
Maximillian suffered more over the next 14 days, all the while praising His Redeemer.
And then he was punctured with a needle and his blood was fed what would rob his body of life.
Is that not the Message that saves us though?
“Who would have thought”
Does it really require that?
He had to come in that unromantic, filthy way in a stable, lying in an animal trough?
Could he not come as a valiant warrior, zealous yet peaceful, robed in white?
Could not the gore and pain of childbirth not be journeyed thru?
Does it really require the death of one innocent King from on High?
Yes, it required ALL of that.
We are SAVED by a SAVIOR who came DOWN and stepped down lower each day.
Until the ultimate depth was bridged by His life.
For 3 days.
So we could be eternally lifted.
And He calls us to His footsteps, not to save ourselves.
But because we have been lifted to a world beyond this one.
And we have eyes to see beyond these temporary pains.
Maximillian Kolbe saw thru those eyes.
Yes, I believe he felt discomfort, hunger, pain, and homesickness for his mother and others we do not know about.
But, more so, he felt a discomfort in his soul for the life of Franciszek Gajowniczek.
And the others he would starve with for two weeks.
He felt a hunger for the Bread of Life, that will eternally satisfy.
And for the redemption of others not yet grafted into the joy and peace he knew.
He felt a pain for the disbelief and brokenness around him.
He felt a homesickness for the city yet to come moreso that one on this earth.
And it led him to do the unthinkable.
I guess the question then becomes more
“Who would have thought that something beautiful could come out of Auschwitz?”
It was designed by One who the prophet Isaiah wrote “makes beauty from ashes”.
For He takes the foolish things of the world to SHAME the wise.
So, I read that story.
I reflected on the life of Maxmillian Kolbe.
And reflected on the life of the One who did infinitely more than that for both Maxmillian and I.
And I considered what Maxmillian wrote his dear momma
‘Dear Mama, I am in the camp of Auschwitz. Everything is well in my regard. Be tranquil about me and about my health, because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love.’”
And I considered my son’s life.
Who would have thought?
That a baby born with no eyelids, no fingers, severe webbing manipulating his legs, and a severe cleft lip and palate, would one day have eyelids and a beautiful mouth with dimples deep? And that his webbing could be repaired and he could crawl within a year of life?
Who would have thought?
That though he was abandoned, he would be adopted as the prized first born son of a young couple with the humble knowledge of a doctor and nurse?
Who would have thought that after they were told to withhold feedings and that this little baby would not live another month or two?
That he would receive medical care at a top 10 pediatric hospital in the US, and be told there is no reason to suspect a shortened lifespan, if reconstruction is done and proper care given, in these first critical years?
And who would have thought that we would have to walk thru 9 days of a baby with pneumonia in that little mountain city last weekend, rather than experience vacation comforts for 4 days?
Certainly not me.
But, I forget the One I serve.
Who often times takes what we expect, shames it, and creates something more beautiful.
And if I cannot write and exclaim that He was everywhere last week, providing in EVERYTHING with love, then I am blind.
For He provided medical care.
A home to stay in.
A family who loved us.
An amazing pediatrician.
Guitar lessons for Hadassah.
Opportunities to testify of lives redeemed.
And so much more.
In the midst of difficulty, He was there, providing in every way.
And though I may have imagined His Love to look different…a little less messy and pneumatic…
I remember Calvary.
And the messy Love that saved me.
The messy Blood outpoured.
For my messy soul.
And then…to top it all off.
He reminds me of this sunset that Adam and I witnessed together, the night before his hospitalization.
We were on a hike and this unfolded before us.
And when His provision looks different than I expect.
And when His will unfolds to reveal a morning that doesn’t depict the beauty of the sunset the night before, I remember the morning after His death.
The cracked open earth.
The torn curtain.
That was needed in order for my redemption to come.
Who would have thought?
In that way?
But He shames us with foolishness.
So that His Name receives infinitely more glory.
And He brings ashes.
So that crowns of beauty may One Day be worn.