Sunday, January 27, 2013

Your Special Needs Child - The Painful Songs

There are some songs that I just can't sing.

This morning in church, one of them came onto the screen.

Come, all ye pining, hungry, poor, 
The Saviour’s bounty taste; 
Behold a never-failing store
For every willing guest. 

I was already in the last row of the sanctuary, but I slipped out the backdoor before anyone caught sight of my tears.   Off to the bathroom I went to bury my face in tissues.  

A call to the hungry to be fed by Jesus evokes painful reminders of my daughter's condition -- her inability to eat, her body's rejection of food, her tears whenever I announce "mealtime!"   Would my daughter ever know the beauty of Jesus filling her soul if she couldn't understand how food fills the body?  Would she ever cherish verses like "taste and see that the Lord is good," if, in her mind, tasting is never equated with good?

Songs referencing the goodness of food only remind me of the brokenness in my world; how the Fall has affected my child.   For Joanna, food is punishment.  

I remember talking with a dear friend, years ago, whose oldest son has autism.  Unable to speak at a conversational level, she recalled how she still couldn't bring herself to sing, "Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" without dissolving into tears.   You see, her son has never been able to sing his great Redeemer's praise.  And that's not likely to change.  

I didn't get it then -- how a song of praise and worship could evoke such deep heartache, such longing.

I still don't understand completely, but I have my own songs that I still can't sing.  

At least not yet.  

But Heaven is coming.  

And all things broken will be restored, and all Scripture unfulfilled will find its fulfillment in the eternal throne room of God.

I don't know much about Heaven.  But I do know that there will be a feast -- a great wedding feast, celebrating the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride.  And Lord willing, my daughter will be at that feast.  And she will dine with her Beloved, she will enjoy it for eternity; She will taste, and know that her great God is good, and that Jesus fills her soul.  

Do you have songs that you can't sing?  Songs that, instead of evoking praise, evoke tears?  Songs that remind you of an unfulfilled longing?

Hold on.  You will one day sing.  

Heaven is coming.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rescuing Love

Not all tears are grief-filled.  Some tears are shed when my eyes encounter true beauty, when God moves, when my Father whispers glorious truths to my heart.

Tonight was one of those times.  A tears-shed-from-beauty time.

It was a simple scene, really.  A child dancing.  But oh, to know the context, is to see something breathtaking.

50 of us filled the room -- family worship night -- and the words to the song came up on the screen and  voices filled the room:

"You are the everlasting God, the everlasting God -- You do not faint, You won't grow weary.
You're the defender of the weak, You rescue those in need, You lift us up on wings like eagles..."

And out of the corner of my eye, I saw children swirling and dancing and laughing as the music continued.  But one child in particular stood out -- a small boy with cocoa-colored skin and piercing brown eyes and a big toothy grin that lit up the room.

His parents stood close by.  They watched their son.  And I wonder if their minds flashed back to that day, years ago, when they first received the call.

Five years ago, dear friends, Peter and Erin, traveled overseas to Uganda, because they got a call that orphaned twins -- two precious baby boys -- needed a family.  And their hearts melted at the thought of calling them their own, and so they got on a plane to rescue their boys and traveled halfway around the world and fought legal battles for weeks and months on end so that one day, they could bring those boys home and speak over them words of affirmation and claim -- we are your mama and papa and we want you. 

And these same boys grew up in a home where love reigned and Jesus was celebrated and the days of being an orphan forgotten, because the word orphan described them no longer.  They became rescued sons. 

And TONIGHT they sing, and dance, and the words in the background speak of the God who saved them:  "You're the defender of the weak, you rescue those in need."  Their dancing affirms the very words they sing.  

And they likely have no idea.  No idea of the "would-be" life that awaited them apart from the glorious intervention of a saving God, and merciful parents, to defend the weak, to rescue those in need.  They are care-free, happy, rejoicing, loved, and largely unaware of the powerful rescue that took place those many years ago.  They sing of something larger than themselves, larger than they could ever comprehend. 

And I cry tears because I see the beautiful Gospel reminder that I too have been rescued.  Adopted.  Called out of a life of sin, slavery, and fatherlessness, and welcomed into the home of God, who gives me reason for singing and dancing.  He adopts me that I may enjoy the blessings of a Divine Family.





Know the beauty and freedom of RESCUE.