My good (maybe best? I dunno, I have to check with her on that!) friend Crystal delivered her beautiful 7lb, 9oz, 20 in., baby boy on Tuesday afternoon. He and baby BJB will be about 3 weeks apart. When he was born..a beautiful birth, which I had the honor of attending…he had a head FULL of black hair and the brightest red lips you’ve ever seen on a newborn. His name is Zion Jeremiah. And he is perfect.
In fact, he is even more perfect now than he was on Tuesday. He was held by God before he was ever held by his mother, who laboriously and painfully birthed him. While her body is healing, his body is whole. While they are weeping, Zion is rejoicing.
He is their first born son, without spot or blemish…like Christ, the first-born Son of God, who was dedicated and Given from the beginning of time. I cannot help but think of the Israelites in the wilderness who were commanded to acknowledge Jesus’ future gift by consecrating their first-born sons. These sons were to be devoted to the priesthood, as a representative of Christ among men.
Zion has fulfilled that to the utmost. Without opening his eyes, he preaches. Without speaking a word, he testifies to the grace and sovereignty of God.
Jeremiah 1: 5-8
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed
you as a prophet to the nations.’Alas, Sovereign LORD,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’
But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD.”
As I said to Jeremy yesterday, “Zion is with God because God gets the most glory this way.” Just think, had Zion lived here on earth, the most that would have happened is that people would bring over buckets of KFC for a week…maybe buy a pack of diapers. Things would go on as normal.
But now…people are praying. All over the world…as far away as Israel and maybe further…people are searching. People are begging for peace and mercy. God is being praised. God is being glorified. Faith is being increased. It’s a beautiful thing.
I have witnessed this first hand in Crystal. She’s beautiful, ya’ll. She’s brave. Courageous. And the glory of the Lord shines all around her. Now in her modesty, I can imagine her shaking her head. But, no one can deny the power she has displayed in these last few days. In labor, through her pain, knowing her baby would never cry or smile, she raised her hands in praise.
Thou, Oh Lord (Psalm 3)
Many are they increased that troubled me
Many are they that rise up against me
Many there be which say of my soul
There is no help for him in God
But Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
I cried unto the Lord with my voice
And he heard me out of His holy hill
I laid me down and slept and awaked
For the Lord sustained, for he sustained me
We will never hear this song the same way again.
Truthfully, I am jealous. I cannot explain that better than Crystal did: “I feel so honored to feel this pain because I know that He chooses who goes through this. I get to feel what both He and Christ felt as Christ hung on the cross.”
She is closer to God than she has ever been. And though I ache for her, and do not wish for her pain, I want that intimacy. I know that she will be healed, glorified and uplifted through His glory. Only when glorifying God, even in pain, are we truly fulfilled. Even in her dispair, she GETS that. It’s truly amazing.
It’s been hard seeing my “belly buddy” suffer so unimaginably. Especially when I walk in with my big bump…what do I say to her when she rubs my belly and says, “I’m still excited for your baby.”
“I’m excited for your baby, too.”
And I am. Because, even though she has to miss the coos and the late night bonding sessions, her baby was chosen by God for a wonderful and perfect mission that is and will continue to be satisfied. I can only HOPE for the same for my son.
God bless you Jeremy, Crystal and Ellie. May he continue to bestow His grace on you as beautifully as he has these past few days.
I’ll leave you with a poem that I wrote in December of 2007. It was originally written for my cousin, Ashlyn, who died at 8 days old. I have amended it for baby Zion.
My Conversation with God
The next day, I walked around my yard conversing with God, crying as I walked.
“Lord, thank you for life. Thank you for frail life. Thank you for 9 months of life.”
“Lord, tell him I said ‘hello’. He doesn’t know me, but tell him I said ‘hello’. Tell him we miss him.”
“Tell him he is beautiful.”
“Tell him about his momma, and his daddy, and Lord, all about his sister.”
“Lord, tell him to sing and dance and fly for You. Tell him to love You with everything that he is. Tell him not to take You for granted.”
I stood there, weeping, feeling the warm March sun on my back.
“Lord, he will never feel the sun. Tell him about the sun and its warmth. Tell him about the birds and how they sing and tell him about flowers and butterflies.”
“Tell him that his little life was big enough to touch and change many lives, and that he did not live in vain.”
God peered down from His throne.
“Oh, my daughter. He has felt the Son. He knows His warmth. He hears birds and sees flowers far more beautiful that you can know.”
And in the midst of my tears I began to laugh. I felt an overpowering combination of grief and joy. I sobbed aloud, “He knows. He already knows. He knows more than I will ever know on this earth.”
“Lord, He does know who I am, and that He is beautiful. He loves his mommy and his daddy, and he is waiting to greet his sister and welcome her into heaven someday.”
“Lord, I’ll bet he’s perfect, singing and dancing and flying for Your Glory. He loves You with everything that he is, because he has seen You. He cannot take You for granted.”
“And he is smiling.”