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Yet I Will Not Forget You

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted. But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:13-16)


This morning Anna and I went in for blood work, his and hers. Naturally as a gentleman, I urged her to go first.


While in the waiting room I initially caught up on the morning’s news on my Smartphone and after that settled in to people watching. After a few minutes I saw an older teenager helping and guiding a younger brother inside to the waiting area. The younger brother was about ten or eleven years-of-age and clearly had some type of medical or mental challenge. Please allow me to clue you in who are only children but older teenagers usually do not like to get caught dead in public with a younger sibling and certainly not a sibling who obviously has a ‘problem’. Yet the older teenager helped the younger in with the face, not of a social martyr, but a face of a caring and kind older brother. It was as it SHOULD be.


In a few minutes the mother, a small woman in her late thirties, not much larger than the youngest boy sat down with him and hugged him, speaking to him softly. Her gentle and caring interaction was wonderful to watch. On occasion the boy would emote loudly and the mother would gently remind him to use an inside voice. If the boy reached behind him and rattled the blinds to the window the mother would gently pull his hand away and redirect him. The teenage boy started out listening to his MP3 player on his phone. After a moment the teenager offered one of the earphones to his brother and they listened to music together, the older brother deliberately selecting tunes he knew his younger brother enjoyed. The delight of the music shone on the face of this child, his blue eyes bright as he listened tapping his foot to the beat of the music. As the music played the mother held him and they laughed together as if there was some shared joke. The plug fell out of the child’s ear and the mother leaned over and said softly to him, “I love you.” In that moment, everything else in that room seemed to fall away as the tenderness, the joy and the love were all on a glorious display.


In our self-obsessed, I-don’t-want-to-be-inconvenienced age, it was a delight to behold a mother, a family who considered this challenged child a joy and not a burden to be endured. She offered this child gentle, tender love and discipline. Due to the level of disability there is so much of the normal of this life that this boy will miss, but his life has been enriched by such wondrous, tender love. He will not miss the joy of music. He will not miss the compassionate love of a sibling. He will not miss the words and touch of love from his mother. How many of us grow up ‘normal’ but miss these blessings?


We worship perfection; she loved brokenness.


This is so much like the love of the Father. He is perfection loving the broken. The Father loving the broken is what this season of the nativity and advent is all about, really. When this woman birthed this child and when she and her husband became aware of the issues, she made a choice. She chose to put aside perceived brokenness and shower him with these greatest of gifts on display today. God has done the same. He saw us as we are and He chose to love, to save. Christmas and Easter cannot be separated. Christmas and Easter show that God chose love. Perfection chose to love the imperfection.


Copyright © 2011 Brian Bailey, Author