Here is today's first reading. The promise of the new Jerusalem, part of the prophecy of Isaiah. Here is today's Gospel. The healing of the royal official's son, the second sign in the Gospel of John. And here is my whole heart, caught between the two. The same Scripture passage from Isaiah was read at our daughters' funeral. (Among the handful of sentences in the English language that I wish I never had to write, that might top the list. That possessive pronoun and plural apostrophe still wreck me.) And yet, they were the best words for the worst day. The promise that one day there will be no more weeping, no more crying, no more babies who live but a few days. Sign me up. Let me hope. Pull me out of the pit. Lift me toward the light with the hope that one day no more parents will have their dreams crushed to dust. But wait: there is more. There is always the rub. Today's Gospel, too. Two sides of hope held in tension: the promise and the fulfillment. That … [Read more...] about I wanted the miracle. We got the revelation.
What was that? Whatever else crosses my mind in morning's first moments between sleeping and rising, there is always one thought, persistent and urgent. What was that? The intensity of grief's earliest weeks and months has settled into a dull acceptance: this is our life now. We pack lunches, fold laundry, drive kids, talk about work over dinner. One day after the next. But in the middle of every day, the thought rises and stays, stubborn. What happened in that NICU room? What are we supposed to do with it now? You can read the whole story here. More people have read this than almost anything else I've written. I still get stories regularly from readers, people who have experienced something of the same - the strangeness of joy in darkness, comfort in despair. They don't need help to make sense of what happened to them; they know exactly what - or Who - it was. But what most of them say is this: I never told anyone else. People don't understand. . . . We didn't … [Read more...] about a miracle, months later