Thursday, November 03, 2011

turning violently inside my chest

Some time ago, I learned something terrible. A friend of mine, a dear woman who lives a quarter of a world away and who I have never met, lost her baby before he was born. Without explanation, he simply...stopped. I learned this terrible news on Saturday morning. There is nothing to do or say to relieve such pain. It's an unbearable weight, yet she and her family had no choice but to bear it.

Sunday morning I sat in church. Jon had taken Peanut down to her class and I sat holding Bubby in our pew. And I fell apart. I dissolved. Huge, racking sobs shook my body and simply clung to my sleeping baby, warm and vital and so very alive in my arms. I was heartbroken for my friend who would never hold her child this way, never know the swell of his chest against hers as he breathed, never hear him make a sound or see his eyes open.

But more than that, I was heartbreakingly thankful. God has been so gracious to us. We are so blessed. Time and again we have met enormous challenges, tragedies that could easily have utterly ruined us, fearfully bad situations that could easily have been catastrophic, and time and again God has been merciful and providential and protected us. And I don't know why.

I don't know why I get to watch my baby grow and laugh and blow raspberries at her sister and my friend does not. I don't know why not one possession of ours came out of that house with even a whiff of smoke, let alone burned while our neighbours lost absolutely everything. I don't know why, as sick as I was, Bubby and I were totally safe and we had an entirely normal, healthy birth. I don't know why this family doesn't wear the scars of the things we've faced. I don't know why we have persevered so entirely. I don't understand why God has preserved us.

He loves us. He loves all of us. And it makes me ache. I ache through to my very fingertips with the knowledge that I have only begun to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of God. That Sunday morning my heart turned violently inside my chest, it was so swollen and overcome with love and the sheer impossibility of entirely grasping just what it means to be loved like this.

She has masses of love. Oceans of grace.

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