Friday, October 5, 2007
I want to tell you about Marianna's current favorite game. (I say "current" because as she grows and develops, she's always turning to bigger and better things.) After a long day at the office, I am likely to find myself sitting on the sofa. I might be watching TV or talking to Angie or just relaxing. Inevitably, Marianna will walk up to me, start pawing at my knees or hands, and say, "Daddy, get up!" (I could write a long thesis here about how irresistible your own child is and the fact that I, by overwhelming love for my daughter, am required to stand and obey, but I'll save that for another time.) I will sheepishly look back at her and ask, "What do you want?" in a playful voice, but she will settle for nothing less than immediate action. So, I stand. It is at this point that the game begins for her; she will take a few steps away, look over her shoulder, calling me with her eyes, then say, "Now...RUN!" These two little words are probably my favorite part of the game, but I think that her satisfaction comes about when I chase after her into the bedroom, throw her up into the air and onto the bed, and tickle her like mad. She goes nuts, eventually begging me to stop tickling her and then runs back into the living room where I am expected to follow and then repeat the process as often as she deems necessary for the game to have been successfully played.
I could easily talk to you here about how wonderful Marianna is and how strongly I love her and how great is my desire to be the father that she deserves, but I could never really tell you the extent of it all. Just know that I'm wildly in love with two girls and we'll leave it at that. The point I want to make here is that Marianna's simple words are so much more powerful than she either comprehends or intends. "Now...RUN!" I think that they're downright Pauline...
Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(For all of you theologians out there, I know that Hebrews was not definitively written by Paul. Please just indulge me by allowing me to describe my 22-month old daughter as "Pauline.")
This hurdle in my life as we wait for Poppy was a part of the race that I never saw coming. However, God knew about it all along, and that brings me such great comfort. I know that as my grief will wax and wane with time, it will be so important for me to keep on "looking unto Jesus” and not be bogged down with fear. I am so encouraged to know that no matter how difficult the race becomes, Jesus will never disappoint me and that He has suffered so much more greatly so that my suffering might be lessened. I ask that you continue to pray that Angie and I will keep our eyes focused on the Savior and thereby continue to run the race, in particular during the days ahead.
It's also abundantly clear to me, as I have had some emotionally-tough days during the last couple of weeks, that it will be extremely hard to get to normal life after we've shared our time with Poppy. I know that it will be so important for me to keep on with my routine. I think that it will be vitally important for Angie that she see me do what I've done for years: get up the morning, kiss her while she sleeps, and go to work. I think that she will need to be able to count on me to be routine and not fly the coup when the grief is greatest. Marianna, too, will need to be able to depend upon her daddy. She won't understand the gravity of what we (she included!) will have to endure, but I will need to go on being her playmate. I don't know what her favorite game will be come this winter, when we will still be living life after very possibly having said goodbye to Poppy, but I do know this: if she says, "RUN!" it will be my responsibility to do it!