Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A stranger's love

It's hard to recognize what someone does for love when we're in the midst of great moments of grief. When Tara and her husband walked through dark days, they were comforted by what God did out of love for them and by the love shown by a stranger. When we obey God's gentle nudge to do something out of love, we may never know the difference it makes. Tara remembers the day ...

It was quiet, too quiet. All the rush of people in and out of the room the days before had come to an end. And the darkness, even the newborn bed that was made specifically to be lit up and warm was completely dark and still. The only movement now, came from the corner of the hospital labor and delivery room as my husband was waking from his fitful sleep.

My eyes went back to the unlit lamp over my son’s newborn warming bed, as a new rush of pain and despair of what would be happening soon rolled over me. My beautiful newborn son, Isaac, who I was so proud of, was delivered stillborn just hours before. This was the day that I would have to let my son go, force myself to walk out of the room, never to be able to hold his tiny 2 pound body or see his beautiful face in this life again.

My husband and I were not surprised or in shock. In fact we had been planning on this day for three months now. The doctors said our son had Trisomy 18, we needed to abort, and go on with life. We said no, we would let God decide the number of our son’s days and carry him safe in my womb as long as we could.

Well, during the long months of waiting, I had lots of questions for the Lord. One of the biggest was, “Lord, this is my son, my child. You are asking me to let him go. How will I leave the hospital and go home without him? Will you be there to give me strength to walk away? To say goodbye?” My Lord had proven Himself to be faithful before, but this time? I desperately wanted to know- would God be there? Would He give me the strength I needed, when I needed it most?

And here I was, waking up to that day.

After the long labor, we savored each minute we had holding him, rocking him, studying everything about him. He was so perfect- lots of black hair, long eyelashes, fuzzy eyebrows, the cutest little lips, fisted hands, even chubby cheeks!

Then it was time. And yes, God was there.

God’s mercy and peace flowed through the room as a kind nurse walked in. Before I handed her my precious tiny bundle, she naturally turned around and washed her hands. I handed her my son and she smiled gently down at him. She settled down in the rocking chair and rocked him slowly, and we were able to peacefully walk out of the room.

What a beautiful memory my Savior chose to leave me! My son, who the world saw as having no worth, being sweetly rocked while surrounded by these tender, loving arms! What a picture of His mercy! I am overwhelmed with God’s kindness to me, as well as His love and gentleness displayed towards my son. 

My spirit agrees with A. W. Tozer when he writes, “…how shall we thank You enough for Your mercy which comes down to the lowest part of our need to give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and for the spirit of heaviness a garment of praise?”

So after months of waiting, and praying, God did show up in another mighty way, showing Himself through the gentleness of this stranger.

Isaiah 51:12 says it best, “I, even I, am He who comforts you.”

Even in the midst of life's hardest moments, our merciful God places reminders of His love. Be watching ... how will God show His love to you today?

Thank you to Tara for sharing the story of her family and the many ways love was shown.

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