Tuesday, August 23, 2011
How is normal?
Thankfully, this has proven to be yet another arena where we must trust God to do what we can't. Jada has adjusted well, for the most part, to school for those of you wondering. She does not like math and lacks the stamina to go full day so we pick her up at noon. Her teachers are wonderful and we are totally enjoying the banter of a 3 year old and a school girl at the table each night. Pierce, well, he just makes eyes at his momma :)
We have been advised to expose Jada to exercise and condition her body back to where it was pre-surgery. Since she lacks stamina, this is a tricky endeavor. Last week after dinner we decided to go for a family bike ride to the park and back. Its a short ride from our home and we assumed a safe one. Jada had tired legs but was still able to run around and chase Ollie as he climbed up and down the slide. It was, dare I say, "normal." Then, the unthinkable. Two young boys looked at her. One of them said, "Look, there's that bald girl." The other retorted, "yeah, I bet they call her baldy at school. Let's call her baldy. BALDY BALDY." (Thankfully, the staff at CLA in Hopedale, IL have tackled this issue head on and are so SENSITIVE to our concerns) Jada really did not seem to hear them and scampered off. Jessica, however, rose up with deep motherly love and flat rebuked those young boys. "No, actually, they do not call her that at school. In fact, its quite rude to say that..." The boys got the picture and just stared in disbelief at the now deeply saddened mother. I had been running to the bathroom and when I came back there was this look that Jess had in her eyes. She recounted the story with tears and with fury.
Later that night as we were putting the kids to bed, Jada was asked, "how did that make you feel that they called you baldy?" In a very matter of fact tone she said, "well dad, he was not really there so he doesn't know what happened to me. But mostly, it just makes me want to cry."
This caused me to think - a lot. Jess and I both just shed tears of sadness for her knowing that it has to be difficult to be a spectacle. But that is not why I wrote this - nor is it why I shared the story in the first place. Two very distinct things began to emerge in my thinking:
1. God has always been and will always be our defender and refuge. He is the perfect parent - there when we cannot be. Variables are a damning thing - they exist when you did not plan or intend on them and they often impede one's ability to stay the course. Psalm 18:2 is helpful in this regard. By definition a variable is something that is not consistent or not having a particular pattern.
2. This makes me treasure Jesus all the more precisely because he spoke for those who could not speak. (See Matt. 12:20). Why else do you think there is so much talk in scripture of the "fatherless, the widow and the orphan?" Have you ever thought about those people in more than just a passing way? Actually considered in the core of your being the following: what is my responsibility to the Fatherless, the widow and the orphan? or better yet the prostitute, the drug addict and the ex-convict. Its easy to avoid the likes of these and spew out something spiritual like "they just did not show commitment to the process or there was not enough thirst for God."Well, as I recall, in Romans 5:8 Christ loved me while I was still a sinner. The term could not be stronger - it might as well say, "while Doug was still a no good, lousy, arrogant, deceitful, jerk..." you get the picture.
It is sad when this happens, though it will not be much longer and she won't be that noticeable anymore - but that leads us to the title of the post, "How is normal?" You'd be surprised how many pose that question to me assuming thats what I want. Its fair, I suppose, and I have even talked of a "normal" schedule and retiring to life as it used to be. However, as I sat in a circle of men today discussing the disciplemaking genius of Jesus I realized something..
I don't want normal. Not now anyways. Don't get me wrong, there is a certain love affair we have with the predictable - but is that really what we are called to? I am coming to the conviction more and more that I don't want normal, I WANT JESUS! That means all the messed up potential-less people like myself have a hope.
So, if you are in with me - (especially you Tremont High School Student) who will you sit next to at lunch that was not the same as yesterday? Who will you invite into your home and just do the "normal" things of life with in a way that drips with Jesus-like intentionality?