A couple weeks ago I was sitting in the doctor’s office. Holding my crying toddler, I was told she had double pneumonia and to take her straight to the hospital. And I am relatively new at parenting and when I hear words like that about my toddler I have no idea how to take it. And my mind did not hold to hope and I didn’t know how to respond and I went in and out of worry… worry that escalated when my seven month old woke up with a fever. I ended up caring for them both from home, one with pneumonia, one with bronchitis, nine days of fevers, two ER visits. Though I hear most parents go through similar things, and much more serious things in their parenting journey, it was a brand new experience for me to process. These were words written a couple days after our first ER visit when caring for them felt a bit glorious.
“Today I write from an overarching calm that has found a place, if but for these moments, to nestle deep into my soul. This week my girls are sick and I have worried too much and prayed not enough. This week I held my Amayah, weak and drowsy, while the IV gave her back the strength she needs to get well. This week I made the 4am WalMart run to get the medicine to lower Liesel’s temperature.
Today I was texting my husband a play-by-play of the events here at the house. From the comforting of the tears this morning, to Amayah crying till she fell asleep this afternoon, to Liesel spitting up, to warm baths and delirious words from my daughter… he got a play by play with pictures. And the girls fell asleep and I wonder why I felt the need to speak those things to him all day. And then I realized why and it felt so wonderful…
Partly, of course, I just wanted to let him know how they were doing, but there was something so energizing about what I was doing today.
Largely, I think I’m excited to let him know what’s going on, because what I’m doing feels so important.
Today my shirt is a spit-up catching, boogie-wiping, tear-soaking mess and it feels so sacred.”
And had my daughter not begun crying I think I was going on to say that maybe in the mess of comforting my two feverish ones through nine rounds of days and nights, I could feel the weight of something so meaningful. That right in the middle of those days, God delivered something that isn’t as easy for me to see in the every-day normal when what I do can feel so very small. It was a simple knowing that in order for these girls to get healthy someone had to care for them and keep track of their medicine and ensure their nourishment and I was the one to do that. It wasn’t that someone else couldn’t have done it for me, because they could have. It was just knowing that God had chosen to give me this task right here, right now. It was the sacred beauty of knowing the health of these little lives was laying in my hands. It was the art of rising to that call. There was a sacred beauty in my filthy shirt that day and the real beauty is that the same sacred call is given to me today. It’s not just the health of their bodies but the growth of their soul that is given to my charge. It may not sound as significant as shepherding a church as a pastor, or shepherding a community as a missionary, but I am indeed an under-shepherd to the true Shepherd. I am a shepherd to these two girls in my care. And though that might sound small, it is extraordinarily significant. These two souls in my care hold the greatest value to Jesus. For this day, these girls are the largest scope of my mission field and the task I am chosen to carry is infinitely glorious.
May we all feel the glory in it. We are all privileged with the mission of pointing souls to grace, wherever we may be. May we live out that calling with the greatest dignity in carrying Jesus’ victory, whether we carry it today to one thousand souls who hear the gospel preached from a pulpit or to one soul who sees the gospel preached in the way we match socks.