Last night Asher was having a particularly difficult time going to the bathroom. He had been on there forever without much success and was getting bored. He decided to ask Daddy to read him a dinosaur book to help pass the time. Zephan wanted in on the action too so climbed onto Matt’s lap to hear the story. Our downstairs half-bath barely fits one person on a good day, so I opted out of this family moment and decided to take advantage of the time. I told Matt that I was headed upstairs to begin chipping away at the Mt. Everest of laundry that awaited me.
After sorting through safari underwear and dinosaur socks, I began to hear the distinct sounds of a baby’s exhaling breath as he exerted himself in some strenuous task. I could also hear Matt’s voice way off in the distance still reading. Sheer terror electrified my body as I raced to the stairs chanting, praying, pleading do not fall, do not fall, don’t lean back, hold on until I can get you… I reached the top of the stairs and willed myself to smile and look calm. Zephan was exactly half-way up our ridiculously steep and treacherous staircase. He seemed so far out of my reach and yet he was also so far up the stairs. If he fell…it would surely mean tragedy.
Zeph looked up, saw my face, laughed gleefully and waved. I became very aware of my slippery stockinged feet as I attempted to fly down the stairs to him. Either the sound of my “flying feet” or Zeph’s baby laugh from afar alerted Matt that there was a problem. Matt appeared at the bottom of the steps just as I reached Zeph. I scooped up my toddler, kicking at me angrily for thwarting his big adventure, and sat there shaking on the steps.
“I thought you closed the gate,” said the accusing husband.
“I didn’t. I thought you were watching him,” said the accusing wife.
Tragedy averted once again…THANK YOU GOD…but for how long? This is what I HATE about parenting. The constant fear, the constant anxiety, the worrisome what if’s…. I guess you could say the overall responsibility of it….everything that comes along with being completely responsible every minute of everyday for the safety, security, and overall well-being of innocent little people. I’m not a perfect parent. I’m not a perfect person. I leave gates open every now and then.
Matt is currently teaching a class at Messiah College entitled Intro to Christian Theology. His students appear to be getting a bit restless with the course, so Matt asked me to help him come up with some cooperative learning techniques to spice things up. I asked him the topic and he replied, “Theodicy and the Trinity”. Oooo. Not exactly the topics that group-mixers are made of. For those of you unfamiliar with the concepts, theodicy deals with the question, If God is good, why is there suffering? The Trinity refers to the idea that God is three persons in one–God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
In doing some internet research for Matt (aren’t I a good wife?), I found this really fabulous article that dealt with both topics and it got me thinking. So many days I walk around feeling wronged. Ruminating in the injustices that have been committed against me, and I angrily ask Why God??? Why did ______have to happen? That blank can be filled with everything from the mundane to the tragic. In the midst of my hurt and my pain, it’s so easy to abandon all the truths I know about the one who is the Truth.
As I ran over in my mind the course of the day, my thoughts were softened. I remembered pulling out of a parking lot, misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic, and not getting hit. I remembered Matt riding his motorcycle back in the snow that afternoon and arriving home safely. I remembered reaching my baby in time. Just lucky? Perhaps. But how often do we walk through our daily lives protected without ever knowing and without saying thank you? We often expect to be “lucky”. We demand for things to go our way.
All of my questions regarding evil & suffering have not been answered. I am still human and still want for perfection. However, today, I know that the great I AM or I AM with is with me.. and that is very comforting…come what may.
though i have never heard the word before now, theodicy is something i have wrestled with quite a bit. a friend who is battling cancer right now recently wrote in her blog (www.punkrockmommy.org)- “God does not have to heal me to prove that He is good.” wow. God doesn’t have to stop Zephan from falling down the stairs, or Maya from falling off the top bunk (which she has done) in order to prove that he is good. this continues to blow my mind. i hope someday i can believe that deep down in my bones.
Melanie Sorensen says
Great post. How scary that is! I know the exact feeling of “stay calm or they’ll surely do exactly what you don’t want them to do.” Christian actually ran outside after Eric last week – I thought he was following me upstairs as Eric left for work. I was just stunned at the “what if.” I heard a talk lately about taking time every day to recognize God’s hand in your life, and how amazed you will be. I was trying to do it in my own personal journal until Christmas happened and threw me off all sorts of good goals. You have inspired me to start again. Love you!