Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reality: Our Son, Made in the Image of God

Today is six years since the day you were due to be born, our son.  Six years ago God had almost completed the process of growing you in your birthmother's belly and in our hearts.  Two days later, it came time for you to grow in our arms and in her heart.

I love you so deeply that at times it feels as though my heart could burst.  I know the same is true of her love for you.  Whereas our sacrifices in loving you will be vastly different - her in choosing parents for you to run to with open arms and leaps of joy with shouts of "mama and daddy" while she watches from afar, and me in the daily chaos and pains of raising a child with the knowledge that as much as I will be an excellent mother to you, I will fail you more often.  The sacrifices are not the same, but they are sacrifices nonetheless.  Sacrifices mothers make for their children.

In a culture that says life before birth is not worthy of protecting, I relive memories of receiving your ultrasound pictures from the hand of the mother who grew you - the woman who chose life for you.  I trembled as I flipped through them everyday for months, sometimes every hour, as we waited for you.  We would nervously call to check on you, never wanting to intrude on her yet basking in every new feeling and heartbeat check.  We are so thankful for you and for the mother who bore you and for the parents who raised her.

You, our son, have been loved for your whole existence.
A precious gift from God.
In a situation the world would call less than ideal, He made you.

This isn't to say you are some picture perfect poster child for choosing life.  Well, no, actually you are.  You just aren't the only one.  Every single life is that poster child.  What you have already contributed to the world in your short six years is magnificent, not because you are better than any other person, but because you were made uniquely in the image of God, our son. That is why life matters.  Because when God creates, it matters.  

When I look at you, I see a life that matters as a six-year-old boy.  I see a life that mattered as a six-week-old embryo.  I see a life that will matter as a sixty-year-old man, God willing.  You were no accident.  It is in this knowledge that we will raise you to be bold in your confession of life and Who gives it.  No matter how many sacrifices your birthmother or we make for you, it falls flat in comparison to the sacrifice your Jesus made for you.  In His image you were made, and in Him you were redeemed.

As you grow, your physical features will continue to make you look different than we do.  The world may see what it wants and judge how it sees fit.  But you, son, will know that your image is not the one they put on you, but the one Christ put on you in Baptism.  In that way, your image matches perfectly to ours - the One in which we were all made and then redeemed.

We are so thankful God made you, and humbled He chose us to care for you.  May God grant us the patience, gentleness, and steadfastness to see this work through to the Resurrection, when everyone will see the amazing Image in which each life, yours included, was made.