Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1. Sovereignty of God; 2. There's something about newborns.

1. The sovereignty of God. It's been my question of the last 18 months. Is God sovereign, in a world where little girls are raped and terrified?

I have always believed God is present in the details, and one of the scariest parts of my wrestling, post-HNGR, has been questioning that. One way I could sort of keep believing in Him and His goodness, having heard those stories, was to think He wasn't involved in the details. Because what sense does a God who IS involved in the details make, when 'the details' led to those girls being born into those families, on those streets, living near those men, being given into the care of those people- or being given into no one's care?

The wrestling is grieving, and raging, for them. But sometimes, lame as I feel, it is also for me. How do I pray, with those stories? How do I believe God is working in my job situation, in where I go to grad school? Can I praise and thank Him for orchestrating a life-giving conversation, a roommate, fifteen minutes of blessed solitude in the midst of a stressful day? Providence in my life and providence in theirs seem incomparable, different worlds... at times, like given from the hand of a different God. I no longer know my definition of the word.

(...This is the part where I would love to transition into a satisfying answer. I don't have one.)

2. Every Tuesday morning, I arrive at one of my favorite* home visits (*they're virtually all my favorites. It doesn't make calling one that any less true!).

I've been meeting with this family for almost a full year now, and I vividly remember the morning at the public library last summer when the mom whispered, "I think I'm PREGNANT!". Another mom and I leaned forward. "What do you mean you THINK you're pregnant?!!". "Well... I took the test." "And??!". She grinned sheepishly, and rolled her eyes in mock exhaustion at the two little ones already playing at her feet. "It was positive." We squealed. The dad beamed across a stack of picture books. "This one's a boy! No question." (It wasn't. Thankfully, he reminds me a lot of another dad I know. He loves his girls.)

I was there all year, every week, through a growing belly, and the girls getting excited to tell me about the new little brother ("Jose! We don't know that yet!"), and then sister :-). I made the sweet, laughing mom reassure me that she was taking her pre-natal vitamins and handed her the required sheets on fetal development... then I would press my ear against her stomach and declare I could absolutely hear the baby telling me she couldn't wait to come play on Tuesday mornings, too. And then I got a text- "Maestra, ya nació la bebé!". "She was born!"

And now every week I patiently make play-dough and do puzzles and practice the alphabet with my beautiful toddlers... and then I grab that baby the second she's up from her nap and indulge in holding her sleepy self and marveling at her beauty.

One day recently, for whatever reason, those sovereignty questions were playing loudly in my head. And, I was weary.

I got to the visit and it was a quiet day. I got to hold her for a good solid half hour, smiling as the mom cuddled and read with her big girls.

And I just stared at that baby. That baby who used to just be a positive pregnancy test and then a barely larger belly and now was a human being, a yawning dimpled weight in my arms.

The word perfect came to my mind over and over and over.
She has perfect little eyebrows over two perfectly formed eyes. Her ears are right there on either side of her head, which is covered with hair soft and dark, already the color of her mama's. Her perfect lips make me understand why people always describe baby's mouths as rosebuds. The shape of her chin and the way she moves her head uncannily reminds me of her oldest sister's mannerisms. Her tiny (perfect) fingers can grip mine. She has hands! She has fingers!

This tiny little bundle of cells we used to not even be sure was there, grew and formed and stretched and changed, inside her mom's body. Into this person. This perfect, beautiful, baby- who wasn't even here at all a year ago, who we couldn't hold just a month ago. And here she is.

I don't know any answers to the sovereignty questions, but holding that baby every week, I believe God is in the details.


thehindenburg said...

for 1. It's so rough, it really is.

for 2. Love it. That's very beautiful.

Asharae said...

Thank you for sharing darling. I'm sending a big hug from Seattle! The way you write reminds me to ask questions and also to look for God, even in the details :)
Love you lots!!

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.