(Still Father’s Day. Still at church.)
After the Assistant Pastor finished up acknowledging the new fathers and giving them pounds of coffee, a woman slid into her seat directly in front of me.
In her arms, she held her 6-day-old infant.
He was so small.
He was unspeakably precious.
His tiny ruddy head reminded me of something so familiar and yet so distant…
I wanted to hold him in the worst way.
And yet, I knew he wasn’t mine to hold.
He was hers to hold.
She patted his back and shushed him as he stirred.
The tears poured from my eyes; rushing out of a deep well of sorrow.
Sometimes I can stifle tears. Not these. They would not be stopped.
And I realized, there it was again: one person’s joy; another person’s sorrow.
I am longing to hold my baby again.
And yet, it is I who am being held by my Father. I am just like a baby: helpless and newly-born into a world of sorrow.
I am longing to soothe a crying infant.
And yet, they are my tears that are being collected and comforted.
Because I just couldn’t contain my tears, God walked me out of the sanctuary and sat with me in the church’s library until I could calm down. Just like a Father would.
I realized there that, as much as it grieves my heart, it simply is not my time to hold.
It is my time to be held.
Ryan and my sister, Julie, came out after me, with caring eyes and comforting hearts. In a way, they said to the Lord, “Let us hold her for a while” just the way an experienced grandmother would offer to hold a crying baby for a young mother or father. You know how.
I guess that’s where you’ll find me these days. Being held. By Jesus. By the Father. By the Holy Spirit. By my mother. By my father. By my husband, my sisters, my daughters, my in-laws, my neighbors, my friends.
Held. Because all I want to do is to hold.
(This song was given to us by a family at our church. Just this one song and a card with pressed pansies and wildflowers. Just this one song. How could they have known that the girls and I have played this song over and over and over again as we drive back and forth past the cornfields??)