Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Before we were married and/or mommied, my girlfriends and I had some brunch traditions. We would get together on Good Friday and Christmas Eve for a potluck brunch, have a little lesson, read the scriptures, and often do a book exchange. Sometimes we would invite our moms to join us. I wanted to do it this year but, there is this childcare issue. Too many daddies don't have Good Friday off. Hopefully when the kids are older, we can start this back up again.

The first year we did it, we read round robin the Scriptures regarding the Passion. And the passage that Tracy Jo got was about how they beat Jesus, and when she read it out loud, she just lost it. Could barely get through it, for crying so hard. I remember looking around the room at ten or so of my sweet sisters in Christ, all of us in tears. It was beautiful. And very somber, and made for a very somber day, which is as Good Friday should be.

Yesterday I commented on Beth Moore's blog for the first time I think, and subscribed to the comments, and when they came in my email box I went blog hopping. And am just really humbled by how much suffering is going on in this world Christ came to redeem. Really humbled and really sad. Which is as Good Friday should be.

Last year, on Good Friday, I alone was discharged from the hospital. I dawdled as long as I could, then left, arms empty, while my new baby slept in the neonatal intensive care unit. Another somber Good Friday.

I had chosen Ingram's induction date in good part so that he would be home by Easter. He wasn't. Walker took the kids to church without me. For months I had dreamed of being in church with my brand new baby on Easter Sunday, in his tiny little sailor outfit, and I couldn't bear the thought of going without him. Instead I went to the hospital, scrubbed away the outside world, and drew the curtain around us to create our little beeping cocoon in the semi dark. I pumped a pitiful amount of milk and then gingerly picked up my baby, trying not knock the wires off his little body and the feeding tube out of his nose. I rocked him. I gave up on praying and just stared at and stroked his tiny fingers.

After a while an announcement came across the hospital that Communion would be served soon in the chapel, and I knew I needed that. I took comfort in the ritual of receiving the body and blood of Christ and noted that I was one of the few not wearing scrubs. I just remember how embarrassed I was because I could not stop crying, no matter how hard I tried, the tears just kept flowing. And then, I had to leave my child in this strange place he called home, and go to his real home, to the three other children who needed me, their shell of a mother, for Easter dinner.

This year will be different. My babies are all home, my babies are all healthy, and I will rejoice in my risen Savior in a regular church where no one will be wearing scrubs. There will be other Easters in the future where I will not be able to stop the tears. I know this. But this year - this year is not one of them. And for this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

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