Thanks once again for all of the feedback on special needs; we continue to gather contacts and information. We have received some really great information from people.
We're enjoying the great weather, and are excited about an upcoming spring break. The break is next week and we are planning to go to a cabin with some friends over the weekend.
We have discussed a short film that has been in the making. We finally got to see it this week- absolutely loved it! It is a 6-minute film that basically tells the story of Eliot's life. We partnered with ignitermedia & worshiphouse. We want to say thanks to our friend Kent & also to Rob for somehow capturing a glimpse of our son's life in 6 minutes. If anyone is interested in the movie, we can get you a copy. It will be released around the end of the month. Just shoot us an e-mail. (email@example.com).
One day my dad was telling the story of Eliot and trisomy 18 to someone in his town. This person will remain anonymous- first and foremost because my father exercised wisdom; I do not who it was. Secondly, if I did know I would still allow anonymity for fear that at least one of my friends would feel the need to speak to him. I digress.
The identity is not the point; the reaction is. The mysterman’s reply upon hearing that Ginny & I were to have a sick son with a short-life expectancy was:
Wow. There had to be some serious sin somewhere.
It’s important at this juncture to know that one characteristic I love about my dad is his compassion. I don’t really know what he did. He didn’t get that far in the story. I think my reaction was pretty much the end of my dad relaying the story to me. However, the fact that my father is not in jail for murder, to me, shows his admirable compassion.
Seriously, upon hearing this story I had two competing emotions: both of them strong and equally compelling.
One of them needs little explanation. I wanted to go Chuck Norris. I wanted to see blood. Blaming me or Ginny or someone else for all of this was a little too much for me to handle at the moment. What a pompous thing to say.
I’ll note here that I include his comment not to stir anything up, but because I believe this person is not alone in his sentiment. Jokes aside, we all are at least tempted to think this bit of theology sounds right because it just plain makes sense. However, I am thankful for a God that makes no sense.
The emotion in a dead-heat with anger was genuine sadness. Sympathy for anyone who claimed to know God and thought of Him this way. I mean it keeps me up at night. I want to defend God. To set the record straight. I want this person- and the many others who serve such a small god- to encounter a god bigger than Pinocchio’s nose. I want them to know the living God.
Pinocchio’s nose grows when he lies. It only reacts to Pinocchio. If he lies, the nose grows. No lie, then nothing happens.
Once again my contempt for the so-called prosperity gospel is illuminated. The flip-side of believing that doing such & such means that God will bless you, is the idea that if you do wrong, God is waiting, ruler in hand to rap your knuckles.
Now, God can and does punish sin. He even reserves the right to do so on this earth. Scripture does contain examples where sin resulted in punishment by God- even to the extent of losing children. I do not deny that God can so act. However, that’s the point, I cannot limit God by saying that He always does this or He never will do this. He is God. I believe it would be futile to assume I know the reasoning behind his actions and allowances.
I cannot know the why’s of God. I can only hope to know God.
And this I know of God. He is greater than Pinocchio’s nose. He is not just reacting to me. Instead of rewarding my good and punishing my bad, He overwhelms with love in the midst of my filth. For anger, pride, lust, and selfishness- his reaction is forgiveness.
Where one might see punishment, I see the work of God. Eliot’s life was, without a doubt, the greatest proof of my faith. Sounds more like a work of God than His penalty.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”