Today, I'm going to change my focus, at least for a moment, away from anything having to do with me. We have a friend who just had a baby, and there were some pretty serious complications. I won't go into details because I don't want to exploit them for emotional effect any more than my use of the word complications already has. This baby will have a hard life. His parents have gone and will go through difficulties that most parents will not. These are cold facts.
I feel for this baby and what a remarkable life God has mapped out for him. And I feel for the parents who knew having this baby would change their lives, because that's what everyone told them. But they didn't know how much he would change their lives. They didn't know how wonderful it would feel to love someone with so many obvious flaws; flaws that they would care deeply about; flaws that would intensify their love for that precious baby; flaws that they cannot change; flaws that are exactly as God planned them; flaws that serve as slits in the Hand-knit human fabric through which God's glory shines; flaws that we all assume will affect a small percentage of the population to which we will never belong. They didn't know this was coming. They didn't know how much a heart can hurt on someone else's behalf. But they have found out now, and they are grateful for what they have.
They have been freed from the great happy delusion that blinds us all. They see through the silken scarves of entitlement that shade our eyes from the truth. They see health as a gift, not as a right. They see things like strong bones, ten fingers and ten toes, and the functioning innerworkings of the human body as luxuries, not basic amenities. They see each breath of air as the priceless treasure that it is, not the casual afterthought we make it out to be. They see life as more than the pleasures and thrills that this world offers. They know, from the unimaginable experience of life at its rawest and most vulnerable, that we are fulfilled by a love eternal that connects us to each other and to God through pure and incorruptible and unbreakable spiritual threads, threads that radiate love and buoy us above the waves of everything we think we need. We are drowning in the stuff of life. But we are made of so much more. I forget that. These new parents do not.
They know life and love on a higher plane than I do. But it does not transport them beyond the palpable pain of their everyday existence. For our spirits are sewn into the material. As long as they are living in the physical sense, they can never be torn from physical pain. And I'll be darned if the spirit doesn't feel that. Life is hard. Harder for some than others. All these fancy words, and it is still one day after the next. Bills to pay, needs and desires to meet. Life to figure out.
So on I go with flaws inherited and invented. I'm a child of God's with serious complications. How messed up and blessed I am.
Paddock vs. Petty: If You Had to Pick One - I’ll declare at the outset that what I’m about to propose is a false dichotomy. This world is not divided into Tom Pettys and Stephen Paddocks. But I’m goi...
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