I was standing in line at JCPenney’s today with my little Gabby in tow when I noticed a lady behind me in line staring at my baby. She smiled sheepishly when I said hello and then she explained why she was staring, “Your baby is very precious. I could never have children and I would have loved to have them.” Her eyes looked away and I felt like I was an intruder in her quiet world of sadness. My own eyes shifted to Gabby’s peaceful face with her long lashes resting on dimpled cheeks. I was reminded of how grateful we should be for things that are easy to take for granted in the daily grind of life.
I left the department store carrying a bag full of children’s snow-boots and a mind full of questions.
Why is it that there are so many people who long to hold a baby of their own yet can’t conceive one? Why is it that the people who would be the kind of parent that claps the loudest at a piano recital and puts down their urgent work to throw a baseball in the backyard will never get to do that? Why are other people sitting in a waiting room at a family planning clinic with a beautiful girl (maybe a future piano player?) or boy (future little league pitcher?) growing inside them and a doctor with a vacuum in an adjoining room ready to end that life?
Why does life just not make sense sometimes? The pretty but sorrowful face of the lady in the store stayed in my mind as I wondered what God is up to sometimes. I wondered this same thing a few years ago when I was sitting in a hospital gown on a bed in an emergency room. Bob held my hand that was still shaky from losing a lot of blood as the doctor told us news that we didn’t want to hear. We were losing our baby. Four days later under a bleak winter sky, we buried our little boy we had named Tzion. We had prayed and pleaded with God for that baby to survive but we never did get to hold him in our arms here on earth.
Fast forward a year to a different hospital that my family had rushed me to during a relaxing vacation on the lake that took a scary turn. I was expecting again and when I suddenly started bleeding, I felt the room start to spin and my knees turn into jello. I begged God in between tears and shallow breaths of pain on the way to the ER to spare our baby’s life. Again Bob held my shaky hand as we lived out a twisted déjà vu when the doctor informed us we were losing our baby. Four days later, I was still pregnant. Five months later, against all odds, we held a tiny miracle in our arms and named him Judah David.
Why will I only hold Tzion in Heaven but yet I get to hold Judah everyday here? Why did it seem God answered one of our prayers yet ignored the other? Why do some people long for babies to smother in kisses and tears of joy while others throw away their baby’s life when it isn’t convenient for their own life? Why does God seem to not always answer our questions?
I don’t have any answers to that, just more questions.
One thing that does make sense to me is that God is God and I am not. I love the way the famous songwriter and singer Steven Curtis Chapman sums it up with these poignant lyrics,
God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God.
If God made perfect sense, would He truly be God? If WE could figure Him out, then wouldn’t we be on the same playing field with the Creator of the universe? If God and all His actions (or seeming lack of action sometimes) were accountable to ME, then wouldn’t that make Him more human than an omnipotent God?
I think God is making our lives into a stunning tapestry that is a masterpiece in ways so beautiful and touching that we couldn’t begin to comprehend it. The only problem is we are living underneath the tapestry so all we see sometimes is the mess of colors and the twisted knots of thread.
But one day…when we get to the other side, I think God is going to flip the tapestry of our lives around and we’ll see it.
We’ll get it.
We will be speechless at the beauty God created out of our messes.
And I don’t think we’ll have anymore questions.
Check out this video: