28 March 2014

Two November Babies

My November Baby. To see beautiful John Pearson, head over to his parents' blog at chroniclesofclay. 

There is this wonderful little family, the Clays.  I don't know personally know them - but we have a slew of friends in common.  They have a baby.  He was born on November 6, 2013.  His name is John Pearson.  He came here with a poorly formed heart. 

Here is this other little family.  We have a baby.  She was born on November 6, 2013.  Her name is Elsa Gray.  Her pediatrician describes her as in perfect health. 

Because of the world of the internet, I've been watching John Pearson and praying for him.  I suspect he's been even dearer to me because of their shared birthday.  The mutual friend network of Facebook allows for much connectivity, and I've gotten to watch his parents do amazing things by sharing their journey.  They are those people who just ooze grace - who are a testimony to the good.  They are kind, calm, joyful, peaceful, humble and loving.  Most of all, they are grateful to God. 
And this morning, their baby died.

I have been crying a lot this morning - since learning of John Pearson's passing.  See - it's not fair.  Of course it's not fair.  The world is broken.  Broken, indeed.  But, we never remember that.  It's too hard to remember that there is tragedy - always - around every corner.  That every person we meet has something over which their heart is truly grieved.  

And so, we focus on our petty grievances.  They are, see, more tolerable to our hearts.  But, in the end, more erosive.  Because, no one thanks God for broken wine glasses or the (third) cup of knocked over milk. 

I have not just one, but four children without any whiff of a health problem.  Our biggest issue is the occasional seasonal allergy and the inclination towards (self-inflicted) concussions.
And, let me tell you, I have a list of complaints a mile long.  If you spend any time with me, I'll list them for you.  They fuss, they whine, they just won't be quiet.  They are so messy.  The baby won't sleep all night.  And on and on I go.  Round and round  - I never stop.

I've known for a while that gratitude is the only worldly solution for confronting brokenness with any amount of health or honesty.  But, of course, to know something is not to practice it.  Knowing you should give thanks is like knowing how to drive a stick shift.  You can know it all the day long, and you'll still stall at the first stop sign.

First, give thanks.  Because, see, as broken as it all is, it's wonderful.  The Clays this morning started there and ended there.  And I'm sure they'll be lots of other places along the way as well.  But, first they are grateful for the five months that they had with their son, and then they are grateful that God has healed him and taken him home to heaven.  With shattered hearts, they give thanks. 

To some, this may sound trite.  To others, nonsensical.

But, see, it's the only way.  And if we aren't motivated toward gratitude by people like the Clays, we're missing the point.  If they can start and end with gratitude in the hours following their son's death, we can certainly give thanks amongst the piles of dirty laundry. 

I've heard from many that John Pearson's life has touched them.  He has touched the Forsters.  I only hope the lessons that the Clays have reminded us of will last - that we'll do what we know we need to do:  start and end with the acknowledgement that we are all interminably blessed.

I highly encourage any and all to read about the Clays here:  chroniclesofclay.com.

Kiss your children, thank your Creator, and pray for this sweet family.  

At the end of the Eucharist service in the Book of Common Prayer, the celebrant says, 'Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord.'

And the congregation responds, "Thanks be to God." 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. This was shared to me by a friend that also followed the short but amazing life of our sweet John Pearson. Our first grandchild. We grieve, we hurt and our hearts and arms ache to hold him again but our minds tell us that he is in a better place. And his once half of a heart is now whole. Bless you and your family.
    Stewart and Malinda Clay
    Columbus, MS