We're studying China in my 6th grade History class and one of my students brought in fortune cookies as a surprise this morning. Now, I don't put a lot of stock or belief in the fortunes but it's fun anyways. My fortune this morning (and not kidding about this) - "You will obtain your goal if you maintain your course". How cool (and true) is that? That's what this blog and my life are all about. I've never wanted to obtain a goal more than I do with Heaven right now. And I will maintain the course. It won't always be easy. This world offers some fun things but a lot of them are on those side roads that I just don't need to take. I've got to stay on course. Thanks fortune cookie for the reminder this morning.
Ok, now to the topic at hand. So I was reading a book the other day called "Grieving the Child I Never Knew" by Kathe Wunnenberg. I can't remember who gave it to us, but I like it. It's a daily devotional book focusing on scripture and Biblical studies dealing with grieving or loss. The most recent one I read discussed one of my favorite Biblical stories - Solomon, the two women, and one baby. I teach this story in Bible each year in 6th grade as we study I and II Kings. (It's in I Kings 3) I also was assigned to teach this story about 15 years ago when I taught 4th grade at my church. Now I'm the kind of teacher that likes visuals. I like to grab the kids' attention. So I figured if I was going to teach about the two women with one baby, I would need to have a baby doll. Being the manly boy that I was, I didn't have any dolls, but my little sister Abigail did. She had about 72 of them in her closet. I figured she wouldn't miss just one. So I stole it. I tried to get one from the back of the closet that I didn't think she'd miss. Then, I went into our garage, grabbed a saw, and went to town. I sawed that doll in half. In Sunday school class the next day, we discussed the story and I showed the 4th graders a doll. When we got to Solomon's decision, I asked them what he said to do. When they said "cut it in half", I pulled the doll apart. You can just imagine those kids' faces. Classic moment. A little psychotic on my part, but classic. I then put the doll back together and explained how luckily that didn't happen and how the correct mother got her baby back. I have now used "Baby 2-piece" (that's his name) each year in my 6th grade class. Baby 2-piece is a great way to get the kids' attention and they remember him throughout the year. Just ask one of my 6th graders. By the way - disclaimer here - I'm not a violent person. Don't be scared of me because I once sawed a doll in half. I just like the shock and awe examples.
Anyways, back to the book. The writer made a point from that story that I have never thought of before. It was simply "What about the other mother?" The bad one - as I imagine we often call her or think of her. We never, or at least I never have thought about her point of view. I just assume she was bad or evil and am so happy that the rightful mother got the baby. But for one second, look at things from the other mother's perspective. She woke up in the middle of the night to check on her new baby. Maybe she woke up because she didn't feel him moving or hear him breathing. Imagine her horror, shock and sadness when she realized what she had done. She had killed him. Her baby was gone. It had been an accident. She didn't mean to do it. But imagine her pain. Then she looked over to the other bed. There was a perfectly healthy baby sleeping. Maybe she quietly picked him up and felt his warmness. Maybe she smelled him and he had that perfect new baby smell. Maybe he looked up at her and smiled or made that new baby sound. So in her grief and extreme sadness, she made a choice. She switched the babies. She just wanted her baby to be alive again. She wanted the nightmare to go away. I know how she felt.
Now, I'm not condoning what she did, and neither was the author of the book. She did wrong. She sinned and obviously the baby belonged with the rightful mother. But was she really evil or did she just make a bad choice in a time of devastating loss? I can tell you and I've certainly heard and read that trauma and unexpected tragedy can cause people to think and do some strange things. Maybe that's what happened here. Should we have any sympathy for this woman or just see her as evil? I don't know the right answer, but I can tell you how I feel. When looking at it from her point of view, it makes me see her in a different way and I do have some sympathy for her. Yes she did wrong. Yes, she made some strange statements while before Solomon ("Yes, cut him in half"). And yes, she should've probably been punished (although we're not told what happened to her). But was she grieving? Most likely. Did her grief cause her to do something she wouldn't normally do? Maybe.
What's the point? The point is that I see this woman differently because we're still grieving our loss. We miss our son terribly. Not long after our loss, we went to Cracker Barrel and were seated at a table where a newborn baby was right in my sight throughout the meal. That was not easy. Part of me wished it was our baby. When I'm out or at church and see a baby or a pregnant woman now, it's a mix of emotions. I am very happy for the family and I wish and pray for health and safety. I don't want anyone to go through what we did. But I have to be honest and say that there is a part of me that hurts all over again for my son. It's a strange feeling. It's a definite mix of emotions. Now I've always loved holding a baby, and I still do. I especially love holding my niece, Amelia (Abigail's real doll ). I think it's good for me and it's a therapy of some sort. However, it also makes me long so much more to hold my son once again. I absolutely cannot wait to hold him again. And I truly believe I will get to. I just have to stay strong in my race to Heaven. I can't slow down or stop. And I can't veer off the course.
Is there someone you want to hold, hug, or see in Heaven? There has to be. While this isn't the only reason we should long for Heaven, it is certainly one of them. But don't you want to see these people again? I do. I have many that I want to see. And I truly believe you can and that you'll get to hold their hand forever. What a wonderful reality that is!! Don't miss out on your chance to experience the glory of our Father in Heaven. Heaven will be forever and it will be more joy and happiness that you could ever imagine. I can't wait. Please come with me. Griffin is waiting for me there.
I love Griffin and I love God.
Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)
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