It's almost 2am and Liam is due for his next feeding in an hour. I just finished changing another dirty diaper and was lying in bed reflecting on the events of my life in the past week and was struck by this thought: how do people outside of "the Body" (i.e. those who wouldn't consider themselves practicing Christians) survive having children?? I mean, I'll be completely honest: if it weren't for the overwhelming encouragement and support of our Christian friends and family, Erin and I would be in a VERY different place right now.
Thanks to the generosity of our community group and friends here in Nashville, we haven't had to cook a meal since we arrived home from the hospital last Saturday - and I believe there are meals lined up through next week as well. Thanks to an unnamed friend Erin's mom was able to change her flight so that she could be here 2 weeks early to help around the house, allowing Erin and I to focus our time and energy on getting to know Liam (it's amazing what a grandmother will do for a little snuggle time with her new grandchild!). And thanks to modern technology we have received countless emails, blog and Facebook comments, gifts, flowers, and words of affirmation and encouragement as we have shared Liam's diagnosis of Down syndrome and our struggle to face the reality of that. I know that literally around the world there are people praying for Erin, Liam, and I as we learn what it means to be a family together.
The body of Christ can be a beautiful thing when it works as it should.
I've tried to imagine what our first week would have looked like had Erin and I not been believers and involved in a church. After having the baby, we probably would have had some friends stop by the hospital to offer their congratulations. Once we arrived at home we might have had a few people bring meals over - maybe a neighbor or a co-worker or something - but I'm guessing that wouldn't have lasted long. In fact, I doubt Erin and I would have really wanted to see anyone at all - we would have been too busy being mad at the world for this awful inconvenience. I would be completely stressed out about finances (I still am somewhat but definitely not to the same extent - I'm preparing to get a whole new understanding of Jehovah Jireh!) and would probably immerse myself in my work in an effort to avoid dealing with the present. Erin would feel left alone to take care of Liam and would isolate herself while harboring resentment against me. [Anyone who knows my wife knows that this is an impossible scenario - but that's all this is... a scenario of what takes place in probably more homes around the world than we think.]
In short, it would be a much different picture than what it currently is.
I think in a long, round-about way what I am really wanting to say is thank-you. Thank-you to all who have shown us the love of Christ this past week through your various acts of love. Please don't stop! (I jest... sort of.) We have a long road ahead of us and are so thankful for the love and support of The Body - I feel like we're in those Verizon commercials and have the whole "network" behind us! I wish I could respond in person to every comment and kind word - however, there's just not enough time and probably never will be. Just know that we are so thankful for you and your thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for being a part of our "Body."