Lesson Number Three – Baby Jack
Jack was the son of my close friends Brian and Ang. He didn’t get to live much of life. He only lived for maybe 5 - 20 minutes. When his parents went for their first scan they found out that’s Jack’s brain and heart weren’t developing properly and that he was going to die. He was not expected to make it to full term. They were advised to abort but made the decision to carry him until nature took its course. When they told me, I asked in knowing that they were going to lose him how would they want this to play out? They both really wanted to carry him to term and for him to be born alive so they could get to hold him and love him before letting him go. The medical chances of this were very slim but we prayed for this and God answered our prayers. I sat down the day after Jack died and wrote down some thoughts that I would like to share with you which illuminate my second lesson.
“God doesn’t call us to be angels ... he calls us to be his” (Rich Mullins)
When God revealed himself to Moses he said, “I AM WHO I AM” - his name - “I AM”.
When David was dying he gave Solomon his parting words - “Be strong and show your self a man” ... what IS a man? What IS a woman? Different things to different people. The essence of being a man or woman is BEING. IT is about being all who God created you to be.
We are made in the image of God - If he is the eternal great “I am” then we are called to - “be”. Be what? Just be. Be HIS. In being, we reflect God - who IS. God is spirit and so are we. Our bodies are merely shells.
When the bible talks about truth in the New Testament it often talks about Aleithia - which is defined as the reality lying at the basis of an appearance. When I found out about the problems Jack had, I was devastated and then I thought. What is the truth of this situation? What is the reality beneath the basis of this appearance? The reality underneath the malformation of his body?
The reality is that Jack is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. His body does not determine who he is - his BEING does. The very essence of who he is is his spirit. The reality is that Jack is loved - much loved. He was loved by his parents, family and friends and he IS loved by God.
Jack was a gift. It was a miracle that he got to live and in his living he has taught us much about life. So often we allow our DOING to determine who we are. We determine our worth and that of others through our DOING. Jack’s lesson for us is that is not DOING that matters - it is BEING. Jack didn’t get the chance to DO anything - he only got to BE and in being he brought joy to his parents.
Our doing so often causes us to grow weary and tired. Sometimes we can even resent the fact that others don’t do as much as we do! Looking at Martha and Mary really illustrates the situation for us. Martha ran around in White Rabbit Mode - very anxious about all that needed to be done. Mary chose the better thing to sit at the feet of Jesus rather than run around in a frenzy! I am sure you are thinking, “yes but how will all the stuff get done?” I think Mary knew about the stuff and cared. She would have helped too but FIRST she sat at the feet of Jesus. Her priorities were right. There was time enough to sit and prepare. Martha took twice as long to set up than the two of them together. She could have sat for half that time with Mary and then the two of them could have set up. Her priorities were wrong. What does God say about all this? In Psalm 91:1 he states, “He who dwells in the shadow of the most High will rest in the shadow of the almighty.” Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God”.
In being, Jack reflects to us all the nature of our God. All he got to know of life was what it was to be loved and held. He didn’t know suffering, he didn’t know pain and he didn’t know sorrow. He now knows joy and love and that is all he will ever know.
Jimmy Abegg (musician and artist) says we are ragamuffins, much loved by God in the midst of all our short comings and failures.” Breenan Manning says, “God’s love is based on nothing and the fact that it is based on nothing makes us secure.”
Our doing is not going to make us more acceptable to Christ. He loves us to bits as it is. Lets sit with him, connect with him, and out of this, serve him and be Jesus with skin on.
Lets take notice of the legacies left for us and learn the life lessons.
- Know that our days are important and use them well.
- Keep Our Focus on Christ – seeking to live in his presence and under his smile.
- Allow our doing to come from our being … DO NOT … allow our doing to DEFINE our being.
- Let us BE. Be His. Be Still.