So, excited you get to hear from one of my dearest friends
and newest additions to the blog! JOY!
At 2 weeks, Zeke weighs 7#12 oz & he just went 5 1/2 hours between feedings!
That’s right, we just got 4 1/2 hrs of uninterrupted sleep.
In the middle of feedings & attention to other children
(yeah we do have those)…
EASTER sneaks up on us.
Each year, I find myself guiltily but emphatically saying “Oh yeah! Jesus died & rose!
This is reeeeeeealllly important!” As soon as my heart gets to a good stage of worship & I scratch the surface of awe, Easter is gone another year. I don’t dwell there like I have time to do at Christmas. I don’t start in time.
I have purposefully never let the practice of “giving up” for Lent have significance in my life because in the sacrifices of flesh, I see the selfish nature of man come out. I see the act of abstinence by the strength of willpower being exalted & even flaunted while the sacrifice of Christ is, in many instances, an afterthought. But I now also see good purposes for this practice leading up to Easter & ask myself why I avoid it even privately in my own heart. It might help with the heart-prep I’ve been rushing.
And so, as Easter approaches, I’ve been searching for how else to magnify the Reason & build anticipation like Christmas is so good at. I don’t want it to happen to us like other years: a few egg hunts, a couple reminders to make sure we all know that yeah, Jesus rose from the dead, self assurance we are all ok in our souls & go on with spring.
I want to hammer it in. This is the crux, the hinge of our faith! God helped me see the magnitude of His sacrifice in a strange and beautiful way this year.
As the birth of Zeke begins to fade into the past, I find myself getting so sad about it. It’s like by forgetting the “gory details” of being so sick before & after his birth & each step of that way, the event is less meaningful in mine & everyone’s memories. No! This was a big deal! Remember everything! I have scars to remind me of the event details & as they’ve faded, I’ve cried: punctures from blood work, bruise from the IV, bruise where the anesthesiologist stuck a shot of Imitrex in my shoulder right after they pulled Z out, the surgery scar now 3 times repeated.
Then there was the coughing & aches on every part of my body for weeks … the fever. I would have gone through this 1000 times more for you. You were alive & were my son even though I didn’t know you yet.
I have been (fairly) emotionally stable through pregnancy & birth, so I felt dumb for crying over this fact of the wounds healing. But when I recently thought of Easter & events surrounding, God connected the emotions for me: how he felt over His son & how Jesus felt for me. I didn’t feel quite so dumb for crying. 2 Corinthians 1 says that we will share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ. I never understood very well what that means, I don’t know that I really want to understand it & I suppose I will never fully understand it. But I have a better, albeit still partial, grasp now. I know that in suffering, we are desperate for Him, that’s the state He wants and so we will suffer in this life.
I also know we are called to different suffering than only physical, but the physical is where He had my attention just a couple of weeks ago. Christ’s scars: from the spear through his side, nails through both wrists, both ankles, punctures around his head, ravaged skin on his torso. “I would have gone through this 1000 times more for you, for every man. I made you. You were alive & were my son even though you hadn’t yet lived on the earth.” From our perspective His scars faded 2000 years ago. He can be a distant, beautified memory or I can remember, bring the reality to my today. I actually feel beauty in my minute amount of physical suffering & so there is surely infinite beauty in His. Willingness out of love. Mine was easy, for a perfect baby, of my own flesh. His was impossible, for thankless, selfish ones. “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8) I love the word scandalous describing this kind of sacrifice. I will not forget the gory, scandalous sacrifice. Make it real again to me & to us.
“At the wonderful tragic mysterious tree,
On that beautiful scandalous night you and me,
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white,
On that beautiful scandalous night.”
– Bob Bennett