Tuesday, December 23, 2014

And that is why


An open letter to our children.

At Christmas.

You were a gift to us.
From the womb of another.
Probably through tears and remorse.
And in our lives, your dad and I.
More tears. 
For a gift unearned and undeserved.
This life.
Put into our arms again and again.
Three times the precious gift.
At airports amid crowds oohing.
And pictures taking.
And our hearts fluttering.
With joy.

The first nearly on my birthday.
A drive to Kennedy International.
With a stop along the way for a call.
To ensure our child aboard.
And then a toast and a prayer.
And back in the car.  Hearts full.
Meeting our son that night.
Wrapping arms around him.
This boy we didn't know.
But having loved from a distance.
It just kept on growing.  Still today.

And then the first of May.
A baby girl.  Amid three others.
Arriving together.  All three months old.
At BWI.  A repeat scene.
But never really the same.
How does one describe meeting.
One beautiful baby girl.
Your own.  At Gate Twenty Two.
Filling your heart and your world.
Once again.

And lastly, at least for a while.
Coming at Christmas; a baby boy.
Surprised by a phone call when all hope gone.
He is coming.  Be ready. 
And amid ice and snow and the cold.
Of Christmas.
We picked him up.  And carried him home.
To a house full of holly and mistletoe.
And two older siblings giddy with delight.

And soon.
We will add another.

This time.  Through marriage.

Another girl arriving on a plane.
A few years ago. 
We didn't know to meet her.
But love was found.  And grew.
And we celebrate and thrill.
Because this girl said "yes".
To our first-born son.

And you, our children, continue.
To be a gift to us.
Unearned and undeserved.
Filling our lives with your stories.

And it is good. 

Especially those memories.
Years growing up into what is today.
So full of fun and laughter and love.

Even the hard stuff.
Disagreements and misunderstandings.
Between us.  Sometimes.
Through trying.  Us failing you.
Again and again.
This attempt to love.  Perfectly.

And what we are learning.
More and more.

Is the radical wild of another gift.
Unearned and undeserved.

The gift of Grace.

Showing up at Christmas.

Not just a baby in a manger.
Not just cattle lowing and angel song.
Not just a lovely story.

But God Incarnate.

Cutting through the fabric.
Of our own attempts.
Tried again and again.

Bringing rescue.

And that is why.

We trim the tree.
Hang the stockings.
Pop the poppers.
And fill our hearts with merry.

You were a gift to us.
And Jesus. 
A gift to the world.

Bringing grace to our broken.

Unearned and undeserved.

In a relationship with Holy God.