Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meeting the Enemy

I was 5 hours away, blessedly exempt from the chicken pox quarantine, when my wife called to tell me the doctor thought the baby had, perhaps, a broken bone in her hand.  I preached that night and drove home.  When we finally got the correct diagnosis, I was furious with the first pediatrician and my anger added to my wife’s anxiety.

Monitoring the spider bite was surreal as we watched our baby that night – what were we watching for I wondered?  Then it passed; I did not know how much that episode would take from us just then.

Hindsight tells me I should have been more observant about the stress levels all these things cumulatively were adding. I have never discussed the anonymous calls we were receiving – ominous calls – vague but more frequent when I was out of town. 

I am hesitant even now to talk about the spiritual warfare that was being waged in and around us.  I would later learn about some of it and some of it I would never fathom or grasp. We turned over some rocks in that ministry that revealed racism, prejudice and hatred that still today sadden me. God granted some victories and some courage; but I did not know at what cost they were coming.

Founders Ministries Blog: "The Southern Baptist Convention: Retrospect and P...

Founders Ministries Blog: "The Southern Baptist Convention: Retrospect and P...: Dr. Tom Nettles spoke at the 2012 Founders Breakfast in New Orleans before the opening session of the annual meeting of the Southern Bapti...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Second Thoughts

You need to read First Things First before you read this post. Read it, and then return here.

 I remember that spring morning. I remember some moments in my life so vividly that they scroll through my mind like a powerpoint. Brief glimpses from my childhood and from big events that are almost overshadowed by the photographs of them, but some moments I remember.

I remember the first time I saw the woman who would become my bride. She thinks I did not notice her in the orientation where I gave a perfunctory greeting. I noticed. She was the most beautiful girl in the room.

Before you judge me as shallow or superficial, I did my due diligence and discovered that she was a freshman, having graduated with honors from high school and coming highly recommended by her church and school. I learned that she did have a boyfriend; but I was undeterred by that small insignificant obstacle.

I remember that moment when she, radiantly beautiful, stood by my side exchanging our wedding vows. Three years later, when she knocked on the door of my classroom in the school where we both taught, telling me we were expecting our first child, she shone like a new diamond. Four times I watched her go through natural childbirth and in each delivery I remember a moment when her grace and strength gave her a beauty I will never forget. Those moments would be helpful harbingers in days to come.

My wife’s humility has never allowed her to agree with my assessment of her physical beauty and yet she knew I felt that way. That would bring greater anxiety in the severe mercy that would assault her self-image and her physical appearance.

That Sunday morning when she called me, devastated, I did not know what to do, think or say. I have a habit of reflexively saying, “It will be alright.” Comforting at times but I am sure sometimes downright annoying. These blogs will help us tell about the journey of faith and fear, mountain tops and valleys that followed.