You also may guess the next thing. It's been good and also difficult. Several of the families who have a child with Trisomy-18 are in the hospital right now. I care so deeply about these little fighters and the people who fight with and for them. I hold them constantly in thought and prayer.
I check in one time each day and quickly get caught up on their progress and make a couple of comments. I also take time to read each of the encouragements people write upon our posts and give thanks. I am so grateful for the connection and the care we receive that way!
I want to get on Facebook more, both to check on them and because sometimes when I'm sitting in the hospital while Wylie is sleeping, I get bored. I definitely am confronted with the habit of picking up and scrolling. I also notice that if I'm looking at everyone else, I'm not looking at Wylie and that's a problem.
Instead of the phone, then, I pause. I look at Wylie. I really look at her. I take her in. I notice how she feels in my arms. I put her down and see if I can remember what it's like to hold her when I'm not holding her. I do not make it a regular practice to think about what it would be like if she dies, but sometimes it's okay because those imaginations change my decisions and priorities in good ways like fasting from Facebook.
Speaking of fasting, this verse often comes to mind in this season: Luke 5:33-34.
33Then they said to Him, “John’s disciples and those of the Pharisees frequently fast and pray, but Yours keep on eating and drinking.”
34Jesus replied, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while He is with them? 35But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.”
This verse is about Jesus. He anticipated his death and His friends' grief. This verse is also, for me, about Wylie. Right now, she is with us. I want to go on eating and drinking--celebrating today. There may come a day when she is not with us. If that happens, I can only imagine the grief.
There are shadows in this. There are shadows that are uncomfortable like the ones clouds make when I forget my coat. There is the shadow of the past. I think about the times she was really sick and the what-ifs of repetition. There is the shadow of death. The length of life is unknown, but a conclusion is guaranteed for all. I think about the when and how of mine and hers sometimes.
There are also shadows that are welcome like the ones clouds make on a scorching hot day. There is the shadow of God's wing. I love the protection and security I find there knowing that God sees and loves us and is acting on our behalf. There is also the shadow of the cross. Jesus's finished work casts an indelible mark on my life. He has sealed the future with a hearty, "Yes, I am for you. You will be with Me forever."
In one way, I fast now, in another I feast! The bridegroom, Jesus, has been taken and I wait for His return and the renewal of all things. We live in the ugly, threatening shadows of COVID-19, poverty, injustice, violence until His reign brings perfect righteousness, peace, and love. With Wylie, we celebrate! We keep eating and drinking while she is with us. She is so amazing and precious! God shields us with the shadow of His presence and guidance.
We are in light and darkness at once. Isn't that what a shadow is?
For a beautiful, more eloquent thought about this idea, please read http://ccca.biola.edu/lent/2020/#day-mar-11.