the undercurrent in the quiet waters
My 19-day old baby has a hole in his heart.
He latches on, gentle brown eyes lifted to my face. His impossibly fast breaths are metered swishes between gulp-sighs. We found out Friday that Titus has a hole in his heart, a fairly large hole so that the blood in his upper two chambers swashes freely back and forth without so much as making a murmur. We only knew something to be wrong because he breathes like he’s swimming across oceans, even while asleep.
If my three big boys ever get scared at night, we sing, “Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid. The LORD will be with you each and every day. He’ll never forsake you. Don’t be afraid.” We ask them, “Who is with you?” Jude knows to comfort others by saying, “God is with you.”
You’d like to think you know how you would feel in certain circumstances. Or you might think, “there’s no way I’d make it if ________ happened.” But this is all I know:
God is faithful. And He is with me.
A few minutes ago I got a phone call that a home-birthing couple in our complex is in labor. They needed something, so I threw Titus up over my shoulder and rushed what they needed over. The young tattooed husband, first-timer, opened the door with his chest bare. He was blank, the look of everything-I-used-to-think-I-know. His doe-eyes were glossed with the knowledge of pain, maybe some of the beauty. He said, “sorry.” And I stepped backward and said “I understand. I’m praying.”
I haven’t cried till now, seeing the holy fear in his eyes. We have control in so very few matters, and sometimes that truth comes on us like labor, like drowning, like a hole in the heart. Sometimes love feels exactly like fear, but perfect love casts the fear out – only I don’t believe anymore that the fear is to be cast toward Hell.
The presence of God is a riptide, and I do want to go under – thanksgiving, awe, love, and fear intermingle only there with truth and peace.
Let it be said of me that I knew I wasn’t in control. Let it be said that I threw my hands in the air, took the free-fall and found my joy deep in His mysterious river.
“Even though I walk through [hospital hallways (not to mention my insanely vivid imagination,)] I fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)