Used

BB and I are dying to know – is there some sort of study that has proven that babies prefer the sound of the pan flute as opposed to actual orchestration? Why don’t these baby toys just play Beethoven’s Ninth by the full orchestra?

I’ve been warned.  Being pregnant, giving birth, nursing, all these things will ruin my body.  I’ll be all used up by the time Fred is 6 months old.  It makes me wonder, what would I be saving myself for? 

I want to be used.  My body was designed (in part) to bring forth life.  My breasts were designed to provide food.  My body is here for a function.  Even if it wasn’t child-bearing, my hands are meant to wash, build, create.  My feet are to meant to walk, run.  My back should be bent.  I’m not a priceless work of art, meant only for observation.

Our culture strives to preserve – save your money, use the candlesticks only for special occasions, keep your skin out of the sun, wear rubber gloves, keep your shoes out of the mud.  We don’t want to get dirty.  We don’t want to be used.  We want our bodies, homes, cars, brains, kept fresh until….until what?  What are we saving ourselves for?

We are about to embark on another 7-style purge of our home.  This one’s going to be bigger, deeper, more painful.  I’m scared.  I love my stuff.  It’s not all materialistic – some of the love comes from the memories the things hold.  The warm coat that’s insulated me at the bus stop, the running shoes in which I’ve logged miles, the skillet that has cooked many a meal, the platter given by a friend, the sweater picked out by my mom.

But then I kick myself.  Here I’m giving away so many items that I was saving for something special.  Why didn’t I use the wedding china more often?  Why have I only worn that necklace once?  I didn’t know that one day I would be called to give it all up.

Our vats are overflowing, and we build another barn to hold it.  Spend it.  Use it.  This life is fleeting.  You can’t take it with you…not in the next life, and sometimes in this one.

We save our money for an emergency.  But (as Francis Chan once asked), is it only an emergency if it affects our family? 

We save our time like misers.  We have to work hard, and we will serve others later.  We will have that date night with our spouse next month.  We will spend more time with the children once we get this last errand run.  What if later never comes? 

Spend it.  Wear it.  Use it.  Jesus’ body was broken, used.  His blood was shed for us. 

Humbled

I had to have a c-section.  We had planned a home birth.  The Lord has his own ways.  Waiting to be taken into the operating room, I was the most scared I think I had ever been.  I wanted to run.  I had a teeny tiny glimpse of the garden prayer – Lord take this cup away from me.  Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. 

Going into the procedure, I knew that my prayer would be for humility and submission.  Rather than the empowered birth I had planned, I was being called to lie down and submit.  Spread out on the table, arms outstretched and strapped down, numb, tubes, completely out of control.  This was the exact opposite of what we had hoped for and planned.

I was terrified of the birth – not matter how it was to happen.  Everything in the pregnancy had gone well.  Fred was perfect from all we could tell.  The lies kept coming – it was too good to be true.  It would all be taken from me.

Stuck between a truth and a lie.  Truth being that God had not promised me a healthy baby, a complication-free birth, survival for another day.  God is good, but he’s not safe.  He makes promises, but safety, health and security are not included.  How do you go into something so important without any assurance of success?  How do you not fear the worst? How do you trust an unsafe and dangerous God?

I always cringe when people say things like, Jesus is my buddy, my friend, my partner.  While of course there friendly aspects of Jesus, Jesus is not our equal.  If I were to see him face to face, I wouldn’t run up to give him a pat on the back.  I would be on my face begging for my life.  He is Lord of Lord, King of Kings, nothing but complete submission and fear would be appropriate.

He wants me to hold everything with an open hand.  I have no choice but to obey.  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.  He is wise, and he is good.  How can I not follow him?