Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Non-Essay

I realize that I have a tendency to write English-style papers on here more than I really get down to expressing my feelings. I don't think that my "essays" aren't honest, but I do think that there's some self-defense going on when I write like that. It might be that I'm kind of scared to really share my heart, to say in plain language what I'm feeling in the deepest part of me. I'm going to try tonight.

My sweet Poppy has taught me more before she's taken her first breaths than I may have learned the entire rest of my life. I think that for years and years (however short they might seem to some of our readers who have accrued more!), I have attended class. I know now that I've treated a lot of spiritual lessons as math problems. Everyone remembers math classes; the teacher works all of these easy examples and then expects you to be able to get the hard problems right on the homework assignment. And we all had the same goal: just to somehow get to the right answer. I've heard countless preachers and teachers share priceless spiritual lessons that I just filed away to my "wisdom" bank, where I could cash in at need in order to pass the test. Shame on me.

I remember hearing Papa on the radio a few months ago talking about scripture memorization. He said that too often we as Christians hear some verse that tickles our fancy, "Ooh, now there's a good one!" We file it away and don't allow God's Word to change our life. Rather, we wait for the chance whip it out when need arises. I have been that man.

I'm not scared, but I am nervous. I don't know how the loss of my dear, frail daughter is going to hurt. I can imagine what it might be like and I can paint pictures with words about the day she leaves, but I cannot begin to comprehend what will really happen on that day. The fleshly side of me has worked on convincing me that I'll make it. Make it? As if this time is just some test for me, to see if I can remember what I've been taught through the years? Shame on me!

Another lesson that I've heard and not learned: Jesus' name is powerful. I'm beginning to love my dear Saviour more and more as I see His humanity. As great as my heart will ache in the coming months, there is not a suffering that Jesus cannot share, for He knows my weakness, having shared in the darkness on this Earth. I've always trusted that He could comprehend, but I've never been forced to truly, fully hand it all over to Him and acknowledge my inability--my complete, worthless incompetence. Now, as I've allowed Him to carry my burden, I get it: the name of Jesus is the perfect embodiment of all that He is, of all that He can provide, of all that He understands. Like the Law showed the Hebrews their sin, the name of Jesus shows me my need.

So, I call on Jesus' strong name. I don't treat His name as mumbo-jumbo that will somehow SNAP! and suddenly I'm stronger or able or I feel better. I call on His name because I need Him and because He knows my tears more than any other. There will be no lesson-learning or test-taking in this heart. I refuse to take this in such a way as to practice what I've filed away to memory. Jesus, only You can pass this test!


jeweljannie said...

Dear Nathan,
Your words blessed me today. God will take you through victoriously, but it doesn't mean that you won't have some times of weakness and tears. He is of great compassion and understands all of our sorrows. I thank God that Angie has you. Love, Mrs. E

Lisa (and David) Barron said...

I hear your words and my heart aches for you. I have been in your position, knowing I must one day say goodbye to my precious daughter and wondering...When? Exactly How? Who will be there? What will she look like? What will the whole experience be like? so many thoughts...I prayed about them all. I wanted it to be as pain-free and as pleasant as possible for my Madison. I wanted to soak in every moment and remember every detail! This time could never be repeated. I wanted to have no regrets with how I handled that special time! I wanted no "should have", "only ifs" or "I wanted this". Because I had time to prepare I had thought about every detail...for once in her lifetime I was in control!!! I practice as an RN at Methodist Germantown NICU (will Poppy be born there?) and a member of Faith Baptist. We have never met but I have a burden on my heart to get to know you and Angie. I don't want to intrude on your special time but would love to share my experience and some things that are available for Poppy's time here with you. I would have not changed a thing about the last days and moments I had with my daughter. My desire is that every parent who has time to prepare say this! Please let me know if you would like to talk sometime. 371-0376 or cell 262-0269

Laurin said...

Nathan, we so appreciate your honesty in your words! We ache with you and rejoice with you during this time. As always, we are praying and will continue to do so.

~the Boevings

Micah said...

continuing the idea of the math problem, nathan...what did teachers always say, even if you had the right answer? "show your work." without the process, the "right answer" was useless. i think jesus was more of a "show your work" kind of guy than he was one to just give all the answers simply and easily. it's nice, and humbling, to "see your work" in the process of life. i wish i were there with you guys.