A number of years ago, I did a poster presentation at a conference that turned out to be painfully dull. None of my target audience was very interested in my discussion of Perinatal Loss interventions.
Oh Lord, why did you bring me here and am I really going to stay overnight and interact with these folks again tomorrow?
Then a gentleman came by, a vendor from some company selling equipment of some sort. He was well groomed with perfectly pressed clothes and a proper briefcase. He said to me, \”I have been the recipient of this type of care.\”
\”Your baby died?\”
\”Yes, would you like to see a picture?\”
He showed me a photo of a lovely term baby who looked a lot like him, and he told me his story. His baby girl was born just about a year earlier, a sudden unexpected stillbirth. We spoke for a long time about many aspects of his daughter\’s death and about the decisions and experiences that followed. He was a man of faith and he focused on this part of his healing.
“What are you going to do for your wife on the anniversary of the day your daughter was born?”
\”I have no idea.” His face showed that he had thought of that long and hard.
And then words started flowing from my mouth, words that came from someplace else. Under normal circumstances, I give ideas and options and speak in generalities, but suddenly I was giving very specific directions. I wonder if maybe this man had prayed to God to tell him what to do for his wife on this special day, and I was pulled into this as an unsuspecting accomplice.
“Buy her this book, Life Touches Life by Lorraine Ash. Get her flowers and a card and in the card write this:
(I never tell people what to write in cards. Who is controlling my mouth?)
\”On the day we married, I had no idea what lay ahead, good or bad, I\’m glad that if I had to go through this, I went through it with you.\”
(I have a lot of words in any given situation, but this is nuts.)
“Could you record that on my phone?”
(The is weird enough without that.)
“And she is pregnant again, 12 weeks, and I’m afraid to love this baby.”
“Which is worse, the death of a baby who is loved? Or the life a well baby snuggled in his mother who is not loved by his own parents out of fear? God doesn’t give us the capacity to love so that we can dole it out in safe little morsels. Would you consider loving your baby with reckless abandon?”
He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small notebook and pen and spoke as he wrote, “Love with reckless abandon.” Then he returned it neatly to his suitcoat.
We said good bye and he left, never to be heard from again. I looked around at my presentation for a second and paused, then I packed it all up and went home.
My work there was done.
I posted the above story to my blog quite a while ago and the above line was supposed to be the final punch, the end of the story. Life, however moved on with new challenges and I have been faced with (and have given in to) the temptation to love in safe little morsels. This story came to my memory today as I wrestled with one of them. I hope I\’m not the only person who needs to learn the same lesson over and over even after we\’ve taught it to someone else. May God remind me that love is from Him and that it\’s my job to give it fully and generously.
© 2013. Tammy Ruiz. All Rights Reserved.