Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Child of God

It has been two weeks now since Charis Jordan entered our lives and hearts; two weeks since our world was gloriously and wonderfully turned upside-down, or rather, turned right-side up. We are continuing to wait for a court date, though, for a custody hearing that will finally allow us to go home to Springfield with our new daughter.

I’ve never been good at waiting. I’ve at times been said to have patience, but having patience and being good at waiting are not really the same thing. A patient person is just someone who is perfectly happy to never be anywhere but where they are and never do nothing but what they are doing. People who fish are patient. But waiting, putting everything on hold until some event transpires that releases you to get moving once again, that allows you to resume life as you know it, that I am sure, is something hardly anyone really likes.

But, we wait. We wait, and we wait because what we wait for is worth waiting for. Not everything is. Babies, though, are because of what we know they will do and are doing to us and in us. We look at a baby and wonder about not only the life that awaits them, but also the life that awaits us because of them. A baby has a way of reordering our world and our priorities that seem to so often get out-of-whack.

I have struggled a lot this week with the waiting part. I have wanted so badly for this part to be over, for the custody to be official because in the waiting there is a degree of uncertainty and that uncertainty, if you let yourself dwell on it, can be terrifying. That’s because there are few guarantees in life and the possibility that things might turn out far worse than we hope always looms large, perhaps especially so after the loss of Josiah. And I’m not sure I could survive the loss of this little girl who has so captured my heart, who at 19 inches and some 8 lbs. or so, stops the world.

Since Charis came into our lives, my favorite time of day has come to be around 3 a.m., when it’s just me and her and the stillness of the night, when nothing is there to call me away, when I can dote on her and talk to her—not baby talk, but adult talk, daddy to daughter––about life and about diapers and Binkies––all the things that really matter. Of course, its not all glory and good conversation. There is another side of those 3 a.m. moments and I know now why they call it the “wee” hours of the morning.

During one of those times recently, I looked down at Charis, and overwhelmed by how much I love her, said out loud, “No one will ever love you as much as I do!.” And I meant it too. Immediately, though, I knew that it wasn’t true. Immediately I knew that God loved her more than I do and I could hardly fathom that. I knew too that God loved me more than I loved Charis, and that too was something I found impossible to get my head around.

And as I sat there on the couch with Charis, I couldn’t help but think about the twin realities of both God’s love and his waiting (and perhaps for Him, waiting and patience are the same because for God the outcome is never uncertain). I was struck by the fact that because we have a loving God, we also have a God who waits to finally bring us home. And, free will being what it is, there are no guarantees that all of us actually will come home. Some will choose to turn away from the One who loves them most.

As Christmas approaches, I find it overwhelming to contemplate that God sent His only Son to die on a cross, and finally lead us all home. I find it overwhelming to contemplate that God became an infant, and in doing so said truly, “No one will ever love you more than I do.”

For God so loved the world…!

This Christmas, I am reminded that in Christ we have all been given a Child who, if we allow Him, will gloriously and wonderfully reorder our world and our priorities as only He can. Because in Christ being born we see the love of our Father most fully expressed. In Jesus, we find hope because in Him we become God’s children (John 1:12).

Merry Christmas everyone!


Netta said...

You've left me crying... again.
Jerry, you have such a beautiful way of expressing things. Thank you for sharing.
Praying & rejoicing with you both!
Hugs & Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Jerry, thank you for blogging. Your entries touch my heart, as this one has. My eyes are full of tears -- good tears, and my heart feels full.

-Suzanne Ellis

Jerry Ireland said...

Thanks for the kind notes, and for your love and friendship!