The NICU preemie picnic comes once a year and it’s basically a showcase of miracles. As, I walked through the Evergreen Hospital courtyard my heart started beating faster. There was so much joy packed in one little grotto. Kids were running left and right chasing bubbles, bragging about their glittery temporary tattoos, and stacking blocks higher than their own heads. To think that these parents beside me had all watched their sweet babies fight from day one and now for just a moment we could all pause and marvel at their beauty.
On the way back to my car, I noticed that I had missed a call, a phone call that would deliver the sad news that our beloved GG (Alana’s great grandmother) had finally faded west, into the arms of Jesus. On that teary drive home I also received news that one of my friends who I have been praying fiercely for, is expecting. How strange to be hit with so much news all at once, the kind of news that one can hardly take, one part bursting—one part breaking. It’s interesting though, when we choose to really get quiet and see things simply, how good of God to lace the bitter with something so sweet. Death and Life.
It’s true, there is no denying how much we have to grieve. The things that are happening to children in Iraq, the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, and even the loss of someone who used to really make us laugh—it’s enough to scare us silly. I don’t mean funny ha-ha, I mean scare us silly to the point that all we want to do is be locked up, hid away from all the pain. The real trick is, darkness doesn’t know how brave we are. If we all choose to shine a light on the dark places, the scary and painful corners that keep us up at night. If we start being REAL and show our wounds, maybe then we can heal a little. Maybe then we can start to really fight for hope.
What if my little daughter decided breathing was just too hard? What if she gave up after that first breath? I can’t even play out that scenario in my head, but I can tell you this: we are all born with a fight in us and the real question is which battle we choose to wage. For me, it’s love, it’s justice, it’s hope and you’ll see me swinging until my very last breath. My prayer is that we can hold death and life with gentle hands and remember how sacred our time really is. When tragedy invades our everyday, it’s like pushing a refresh button on life. Suddenly the sun shines brighter, our problems seem smaller, and all we really have time to do is love each other better. I think that’s what we have to choose. Most headlines on the news will makes us want to hide inside and never come out, but love is our anthem. It’s the only thing that makes our time here worth it.