Lucas George is just over a month old and he was born with two major heart defects. His heart is now beating on its own, which is a miracle, but up until recently, he could not keep any food down.
He was chubby when he was born.
And his mother–Trent’s sister–stays by his side night and day and we feel it: the ancient sorrow of motherhood that is our terrible joy, terrible, because we want to save these children who suffer, because it feels as though we’ve held every child in our womb. And joy, because we have seen the face of God in them.
When Aiden looked at Lucas’ photo he said, “Poor baby Lucas. He looks so sad.”
No child should have to suffer, and it’s something that keeps me awake at night, and it’s what led me to take in Joey and Jin for 11 months last year and now, to keep taking them in, every third weekend, so their mother can have a break.
It’s what makes me want to move to Haiti when I hear that parents there are making them mud-cakes so they don’t feel their hunger pains and it’s what keeps me believing in eternity. Because there has to be something better than this.
This weekend Joey stood out on our lawn, the sun shining down on him and the snow nearly gone. The boys were kicking balls and slashing sticks and sliding face first down the playground equipment, and Joey, in all of his five-year-old-ness, stood in the middle of the lawn and cried out, “Thank you Lord.”
And again when we were walking back to the house he said, “Thank you Lord, for saving my heart.”
Joey, who has known more pain and hurt and sorrow than any five-year-old should have to know.
And Aiden heard him, and repeated him.
Aiden hasn’t known much pain in his life. But he was inspired by Joey’s crying out. It’s those who’ve suffered whose stories make us believe in Jesus.
Sorrow precedes praise.
I think of how safe our children are, within our wombs. How protected. But if they were to remain in there forever, they would never get to stand in the sunlight on a soggy lawn, geese flying across the fields and cry out, “Thank you, Lord.”
For saving my heart.
Lucas’ heart has been saved. By doctors, and by Jesus, and because of this, and for more than this, we sing Hosanna.
(Since writing this post, my nephew Lucas has come home and he is well and happy and healthy… we are praising God from whom all blessings flow)