October 12, 2011

sweet suffering

I was looking into the rugged face of my precious Brave this afternoon, during a moment alone that we shared in the sunshine, drinking water and eating Swedish Fish candies.  I was thinking how sweet it was of the L0RD to give us two medical emergencies in one year, requiring two 5-day stays in a hospital room, just Brave and me.  My baby boy and I did nothing but cuddle up to Discovery channel programs and eat hospital food until we fell asleep together on my cot, his IV line drip-dripping through the night . G0D knew we would need those memories come August, 2011, when baby boy would have to share my lap with baby girl.  Those memories are a treasure to me. 

As I sat with Brave today, chewing on my fourth Swedish Fish, it dawned on me that all of my most precious memories with my children are surrounding crises.  The 2 months that Daniel and I spent fighting for Zion's peace of spirit (untold story, no more about that) served to knit our three hearts together in ways that would not otherwise have been possible.  When Bright was four, we felt we were losing him every day that he spent at preschool.  With a newborn in the house, we made the difficult decision to home school him.  There was never a tougher or, you guessed it, sweeter time with Bright. 

My favorite memories with Jubilee are the four nights at the hotel in GuangZhou, before we knew how to get her to sleep on her own.  I spent all four of those nights propped up on a pillow with a warm little girl on my chest, one who was scared to death to be anywhere but right there, listening to my beating heart.

I think this is what the L0RD must feel, a smile creeping over his face, as he thinks back on the times spent in the darkness of crisis with me.  Is that why he allows me to suffer sometimes?  I don't know the answer to that popular theological question.  No one does.  But I am going to think about this the next time I am reduced to tears and flat on my face before his throne, knowing that he is not sitting up there with a straight back, his large hands resting one on each armrest.  He is down on the throne room floor with me, making memories.