Friday, December 14, 2012
Oh what a joy to be accidentally surprised so often! And, though hard work, it is fun and rewarding work to learn the ins and outs of this tiny Image Bearer, one who bears such beautiful and unique marks of her Creator. I spent the first six months of her life in shock (and chaos for circumstantial reasons beyond her arrival and presence), trying to grasp how to respond to a child who responded so differently to me than her big sister, even as an infant. How to get this sleep thing, feeding thing, relationship thing down again in a new context. By now, though, as she reaches 20 months of age, I am struck by my own aching joy in watching her beauty, her sweet and special quirks, her learning, her joy and triumph at mastering a task, her extreme and deep love for her family. Her quiet observation in crowds contrasted to her loud and zany antics in the comfort of our home - her safe place. Her clear need to be alone for periods during the day, already demonstrating so many of the same wonderful, introspective personality traits of her daddy that I know will continue to add a richness to our family and to the grand tapestry of the Kingdom of our God as she grows in grace daily.
These thoughts, ringing in my head for days, become especially important to me in light of the date: December 14, and the events of the morning in faraway Connecticut. I mourn for those who mourn and treasure up the gift of yet another day with my precious Blessings. We zero in on the intense suffering of these few today, with good reason, but the grief extends much farther than that, spans the distance of time back to Eden and the Fall, the willing allowance of sin's entry with all its horrific and painful results. We were not created or designed to "handle" the kind of news we all received today, nor were we designed to handle the kind of pain, loss, and suffering being experienced by the family, friends, and community of the children and adults in that elementary school. God promises that, even through these things, He is good, He is present, He is binding up and healing wounds so much deeper than gunshot wounds and faith is resting and knowing His promises are sure. But for now, I stroke a soft baby cheek, re-cover a three year old with her blanket in bed, curl up to my sleeping husband deep in the warmth of our quiet house, and thank God for the moments of Now and today.