Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Seventeen Months

When we were pregnant with Emeth, we came across this quotation by Ann Judson, wife of missionary Adoniram Judson. They had lost their first child, still nameless, at sea while sailing to Burma. At the death of their second child, a seventeen-month-old Roger Williams, she wrote:
Our hearts were bound up with this child; we felt he was our earthly all, our only source of innocent recreation in this heathen land. But God saw it was necessary to remind us of our error, and to strip us of our only little all. O, may it not be vain that he has done it. May we so improve it that he will stay his hand and say 'It is enough.'*
I turned to Hans and said, "No, I can't. I would not be able to say this about the child in my womb." O little did I know about the preciousness that her words were describing.

Emeth is now seventeen-months old. In fact, he is turning a year and a half in two days. As we were saying good night, I watched our "little all" as the sounds of his squeals and the thumping of his fat feet filled the apartment (and probably the neighbors' too). He is our "innocent recreation," though Emeth is not our only and we are not alone in a completely heathen land.

I once heard someone compare evil to black paint. As black is in every masterful painting, evil and suffering is upon the canvas that is this fallen creation. The Lord is the artist. He is sovereign, over rebels and children alike. He is a good Creator; he is kind to his creatures. He does all things well, and makes all things beautiful. The black in our lives is no mistake; every stroke is a part of the whole.

May the Lord grant me a tiny portion of Ann's faith in his goodness and sovereignty! May our present trials not be in vain and may we so improve for his glory.

*John Piper gave a brilliant exhortation on the lives of the Judsons in one of his biographical sermons.


E! said...

Thank you for your words. Learning to die, lament, and praise. Learning a new song and grateful that you sing it.

Poems of Gibran came across me:

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. / And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; / And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. / And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

For even as He crowns you so shall he crucify you. / Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Peter said...

hey irene. i like this post. also similar to when hans talked about pff i would never do what abraham had to do (i.e. take his son up to the mountain).

something else as food for thought:

hans is 42? that's the same age eric liddell died in inland China, after having sent away his wife and children. yikes.