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Archive for October, 2013

She lay limp in my arms. Not a breath escaped from the perfectly formed mouth.  Her fragile ribcage failed to rise and fall and I knew her tiny heart had ceased beating.  And, for a moment, my own heart stilled.  I paused in horror as my daughter’s lips, face, and body changed from the new-from-heaven shades of pink and cream to a dusky grey and then a deep, unsightly brackish color.

Cradling her tiny body in my arms, I began crying out. “Dave, the baby isn’t breathing!” In a blur of commotion, my child lay motionless atop her changing table–my husband exchanging his life’s breath with our unresponsive daughter. Listen…breathe…compress.

“Ma’am?”  the voice passing through the receiver caught my attention.  “Has your baby choked on something? Does she have a pulse?”

No.  My baby was dead. There was no life remaining.  One minute…two minutes.  Still, the father breathed.

“Please, Lord.  Don’t take the baby…not my baby!”  My prayers emerged loud and desperate–pregnant with a mother’s agony.  Three minutes…four minutes. There wasn’t even the flicker of an eyelid; only the steady rhythm of my husband’s counting–one, two, three, four, five.

Then…five minutes.  The hands on the clock seemed to have stilled and the three of us were trapped in that moment.  Suddenly, Heather gasped for air–an  uneven rasping sound.  At the same time, the firefighters pushed into the crowded nursery.  Like us, they were unbelieving and surprised.  My precious child was alive!

In much the same way, Christ saw his children helpless…dying…exempt from eternal hope.  And without hesitation, He exchanged his own holy life for the lives of fatally sinful people.  His life for mine…and yours.  The moment of Christ’s last breath was a promise for our forever tomorrows.  His precious children are truly alive!

Verse for Reflection:  Colossians 2:13

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Now faith is being sure of what we hope for…Hebrews 11:1

 

The beautiful garden unfurled its colors near the old, gray corral–a ranching remnant from the early 1900’s.  Nestled between the meandering creek and dusty country road, rows upon rows of corn, cabbage, peppers, and carrots displayed their bounty.  My mother spent hours there–tending the plants as if they were children in need of care.

The peeling, unsightly skin on her shoulders and her roughened hands were testimony to a dedication I didn’t share.  Many times, I grudgingly held my small pail in the potato patch.  “Pick off those bugs, Tammy!”  The thought of touching the parasitic beetles still sends my stomach reeling.

But, as much as I detested the potato bugs there were other things I found far more frightening and insidious.  I never knew if they were lying in wait–keeping quiet watch beneath the shelter of a massive squash plant or strawberry bush.  Rattlesnakes–poised to strike and hidden in the most unsuspecting of places.

That garden…those pests…the dangerous vipers.  Now that I have two teenagers, I often feel this simple farmer’s garden represents my life as a parent.  I run about–picking away at those dangers I see lurking on the surface.  I teach my children to believe…hope…pray.  Yet, I scurry about the fertile soil of their lives searching for danger.  “Pick off those bugs, Tammy!”

And my worst fears?  Those enemies lurking somewhere in the hidden places that I can’t see?  What am I to do about those?  I might be aware of their presence.  I may even be able to offer a warning.  Ultimately, though, I need to trust the Gardener of their souls–the One who bent to the earth and scooped their souls into His tender arms.  I may fear the danger, but He sees the bounty of a beautiful harvest.

 

Questions for Reflection

What is your greatest fear?  Are there any steps you can take to give that concern to God?

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