It was a sort of novelty for me as I'm not the sort to give up my agenda so readily. My preference might have been to do working-holding but that would have divided my attention too vastly to meet his needs.
Novelty, for real, because I'm generally too selfish to put other folks's needs ahead of my own. I say this sort of thing out loud sometimes and friends tell me it's a ridiculous notion, but regardless of the words I say or put on paper, I still know me better than the "public" does.
Anyhow, there was this moment when I was brushing the hair across his brow and whispering lullabies to him that a thought occurred to me: I would take this on for you if I could. I would be sick on your behalf if it were possible.
I'm sure that in all my years of mothering, wife-ing, friending, I must have said this before and probably more than once but I don't think I've ever felt it so intensely or so intensely understood the implications of such a statement as I did in that moment.
I started to think about my prominent relationships. I would be sick for the g'babes so that they might be well. I would ease the burdens that my daughters carry in order that they might have fruitful, happy lives. I would relieve my husband of the emotional weight he carries so that he might have all the joy and buoyancy that I know he deserves.*
What we're talking about now is sacrifice.
I would take it on (whatever it is) so that they might live more freely, more abundantly.
That's when I start to wonder just how far I'd go, how much I really would give up for the sake of those whom I love. I like to think I'd give it all but I've not faced that kind of reality. I begin to reflect on 9/11. It's hard, I know, but you do that too for just a minute. Stop and think about the hundreds of men and women who gave their lives on that day in the service of others ~ who gave their own lives so that others could live.
Now. The astonishing fact is: One Man gave His life so that every single one of us might live.
What we're talking about now is love.
Look, for real, I know this makes some of you angry - this notion, this concept of unconditional, limitless love. Angry in ways that can't be squished into words. I know because I've been in that too. What I'm telling you now is the truth, though, and I'm telling you from the free side: Jesus really does love you. His father really does love you. Together, they implemented a plan to pursue and rescue you from the illness and anger and slavery of this tainted world. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly," said Jesus. (John 10:10)
He requires nothing in return for that except for you to accept the offer.
Dear Jesus, I fall so short of my goals and so often. Thank You for loving me anyway and for giving it all so that I might live forever with You.
*I must acknowledge that sickness is a fact of life and so are burdens and that a purpose may be served through it all. There is so much that I actually would not take from those whom I love as I've seen the growth and wellness that is possible to achieve through hardship.