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What If I Shine?

randomlychad  —  December 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

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I drive past this sign every morning on my way to work. It both challenges and convicts me. Frankly, it also frightens me. I mean, what if I shine? It means that, quite possibly, I could stand out (when everything in me wants to fade into the woodwork). My proclivity is to quietly go about my thing not drawing attention to myself (said the guy with blog bearing his name). If anything, it’s the work I want to be known for, and the quality thereof. There’s an old saw that goes: “Take the work seriously, and yourself not at all.”

I have always embraced this. But what if what if I shine? means that I–that you–that we allow world the feel the full weight of just who God made us to be, and the world just has to deal with it?

What if?

Does your soul recoil at the thought, wondering just who you think you are? I know mine does. Who am I to shine?

I am Chad, blood bought, sanctified, spirit-filled child of the living God, Who paid my debt through His Son Jesus. I need to constantly remind myself of that.

Who are you today?

Will you shine?

A very special person came into my life almost fourteen years ago. He’s my son, and he’s special for a number of reasons. Chief among them is that my wife and never thought we would have him. You see, we were told, repeatedly, that we wouldn’t be having any children.

But God…

But God had other plans. Which started with my wife, Lisa, suffering from flu-like symptoms in the wake of Thanksgiving, 1998. In fact, what we thought we were abdominal cramps got so bad that we went to the E.R. one evening. Pregnancy was the furthest thing from our minds.

But the doctor…

But the doctor was a wise enough man that he, after examining her, ordered an ultrasound. To rule out an ectopic pregnancy. And that sonogram showed, instead of an ectopic pregnancy, or other malady, a baby growing in Lisa’s womb.

A tiny baby, at just a few weeks gestation. We were stunned to silence, and then wept tears of you. After seven years (at that time) of marriage, after being told “Sorry, not for you” over and over again, after the fact settled our bones… What had stayed out of our grasp was unexpectedly becoming a reality.

Overjoyed doesn’t even begin to do the feeling adequate justice. My stock and trade is words, and I’m at a loss…

I’m at a loss to tell you just what that precious little baby meant to us, to know that he was coming. Oh, as with all joys in this world, this was tinged with sadness, too: her’s was not an easy pregnancy. Not by any stretch. Even so, we wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Not for the world, not for the secrets of the pharaohs, not for all the proverbial tea in China.

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Because…

Because it brought us our son, Jonathan. Our wonderful son, in whom we are well pleased. Many years have come and gone since he was a baby, and the young couple in their twenties awestruck by his impending arrival have given way to a couple in their early forties; a couple in the throes of parenting not just a teenager, but a little girl as well (that is a story for another time).

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In any case, I’m writing today to celebrate the fine young man that our firstborn has become. I’m writing to tell you how proud his mother and I are of him. I’m writing because that little baby I once held in my arms is growing up, has just completed the eighth grade.

This past year has not been without its challenges–both for Jonathan, and for us. But he stayed the course, worked hard, and finished well. We’re proud of you, son!

Would you please join us in congratulating this fine young man on this momentous occasion?

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