Thursday, February 1, 2007

Just a Glimpse

Seminary is in session and my blog output has dropped significantly. Nevertheless, I've been carrying something around with me for weeks that must be shared. Here she goes …

Being a father is wonderful beyond description. It is amazing to feel and express my love toward our little Dietrich and to watch him react and respond to us. To see him grow and develop is to witness a miracle in process. To pray for him with Josie is a privilege as well as an exercise in projection. I want for Dietrich things that I've either had and lost, tried for and failed to reach or, on occasion, never thought of desiring for myself. But with only 4.5 months behind him, Dietrich has his whole life ahead of him and I want him to pursue it with a passion that brings joy to himself and glory to God. It's a lot to put on the shoulders of a little boy, I know, but since he can't even recognize himself in a mirror yet, I'm confident that I'll obtain some parental realism before my hopes and dreams have too adverse an affect on him.

The point is that I have love for Dietrich that I didn't know I had. It's a different kind of love than I have for my wife, obviously, but I didn't know it would be so obviously different. And the realization of this new, paternal love hit me like a sledgehammer a few weeks ago when we took Dietrich in for his immunizations. The same thing happened when he received immunizations a few weeks after he was born, but the repetition confirmed it. As I sat there, holding Dietrich in my arms, which gave him a sense of safety and security, I dreaded the inevitable moment when the nurses would stick the needles in his legs and he would scream out in shock and pain, onto which I would project feelings of betrayal and forsakenness. My son shouldn't have to be in such pain and I am the one responsible for it. Nothing in years has made me cry (in the bad way) quicker than when I offer my son to the ladies with the needles and then, instantly, he begins to cry in a way that he only does when I offer him up to be pierced. I feel as though I've betrayed him and hurt him and as though the blame for his suffering lies squarely on my shoulders. After the injections, Josie and I hold him and talk to him and do what we can to calm him down. But for days I feel the weight of that moment. Even with all of Josie's reassurances that it was done for his good — all of which I consciously understand and comprehend, but that just don't remove the pain from Dietrich or myself — I feel an emotional pain that far outweighs the physical pain of a few shots. It's horrible, absolutely horrible.

But in the end, Dietrich is human, he's fallen and lives in a fallen world. While innocent from a human standpoint, he needs Christ's sacrifice as much as the rest of us do. These spiritual realities notwithstanding, I can hardly bear to see him suffer — even when it's for his own good! Just think what our Heavenly Father must have felt when His perfect, innocent (humanly and spiritually) and beloved Son suffered and died. And He did not die for any benefit to Himself, but for our benefit. In my newly discovered paternal love for my son, I've gained greater respect and awe for the Father's love of His Son, and will offer deeper praise and adoration to Him for His sacrifice of His Son on our behalf.

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." II Co. 5:21


Eric said...

Hey.....don't feel bad about the shot. In the coming years you will be presented with many instances where you can either "save" your child from pain or let them do certain actions that will cause pain. Isn't it sad that the biggest lessons we learn come from experiencing the pain of making the wrong choice?

Isn't it better to have the pain of a small prick vs. the pain of catching some horrible disease? It will be the same when you have the choice to follow around Dietrich and prevent him from harming himself. You will say don't climb up that...don't stand on that...don't run on the you could physically "save" him in all these instances but sometimes the only way to learn the lessons of life are through pain. Isn't that what God does with us? Hopefully all those times we rebel from God while we are young and he allows us to experience the pain of our disobedience, we grow and will learn those lessons while young...while the consequences aren't large. It will be the same with you and Dietrich. You will save him from experiencing those large pains in life by letting him get those pin pricks while young so that when he grows he will know how to live is life.

Does that make sense? Haha I really just wanted to write on your blog :)

Jit Fong said...

It's ok for Diet to cry. I would like a healthy nephew please.