Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Faith > Fear... Boston

On Monday, I had a typical post ready to roll for Recipe Monday, but the thought of talking about quesadillas on such a tragic day just didn't seem appropriate... it seemed so unimportant, so trivial, so much like "nothing new going on today" which was not how I felt at all.

On Monday, things got real. Life got real. Recipes and blogs and going to work and cleaning house seemed so silly, so pointless. I just wanted to go home, curl up on the couch next to Brandon and feel safe. Ironically, Oklahoma City - our home - feels so very safe to me. I was in 2nd grade when Timothy McVeigh left a moving van sized bomb parked downtown. The same downtown I go visit attorneys at multiple times throughout the week. The same downtown my husband's hospital is located next to... I drive by the Memorial every time I swing by to see him. Even though the OKC bombing shaped our city in so many ways, it still doesn't feel real to me. People bombing things in the United States, doesn't seem real to me... that stuff only happens on the news and in far away foreign countries.

On Monday, that all changed.

On Monday, my perspective was different than it's ever been before.

On Monday, I think I became a Momma. So far, this whole baby thing has been new and exciting and all fun (well minus those first few months of throwing up). In my head, Cooper is going to be this perfect little baby and is going to have this perfect little life and Brandon and I are going to kiss his boo-boos, make everything better and keep him safe and sound from all the bad things in the world.

And then Monday happened.

On Monday, this big world that we have chosen to a bring a baby into got really scary. I am a firm believer that there is more good in the world than bad. That just because there is one bad apple doesn't really mean the whole batch is ruined. I love the quote below by Mr. Rogers that reminds us to look for the helpers, the good guys. But on Monday, I realized that it just takes one bad guy to mess up a lot of good.

On Monday, I put myself in the shoes of the parents of precious little Martin Richard. I bet they thought they could keep him safe and sound from all the bad things in the world.

And on Monday, they realized they couldn't protect him... even if they were standing right there beside him. This is where the realization, and the fear, caught me. I could be standing right next to Cooper, holding his hand even and not be able to protect him. I'm sure it's a fear that all parents have, but it was a new one to me. My little vision of tiny blue onesies, carrying miniature cars in my purse, baseball and camping came to a screeching halt. It was replaced with a true fear of not ever being able to do enough to keep him safe. I have my concealed carry license and I fully intend to keep "packing heat" when I'm toting Cooper around... but  even a mommy with a gun can't stop a bomb. Fear.

And as all of this sunk in on my drive home from work on Monday and the tears began to flow, I remembered when my mom had this realization... I remember because it was me she couldn't protect. I was in early middle school, I remember every bit of it. To make a long story short, we were at a church where I was participating in a National Guild competition for young pianist. It's not like a normal competition because really you aren't competing, you're just being judged. You go to a central location where all these piano players come and play for a judge who gives you a score based on your level. My mom and piano teacher sat outside the doors to the sanctuary as I played - just how it always happened. The only difference was this judge was kind of weird. He was really friendly. He talked to me a long time before he ever had me play and then when I did play (and I absolutely butchered it) he kept complimenting me. Beautiful. Just lovely. Sounds wonderful. I knew this dude was kind of off because I hadn't practiced like I was supposed to and there hadn't been a beautiful thing about it. At the end of the time, he asked if he could take a picture of me. Not normal, but okay maybe it'll help my score if I'm nice! He took quite a few, I stayed seated at the piano for most and then he had me take a few more standing beside it. He asked for my address so he could send me a copy, my middle school mind didn't register the "stranger danger" thought because my mom was right outside the door. I gave him my address and when he said he'd never heard of my small town, like most everyone does, I explained perfectly how you get there. He shook my hand, walked me out and I got in the car and we headed home. I was so busy fearing the wrath of my mother for not practicing that I didn't even think about telling her about how that judge had been different.

The next day my piano teacher called my mom in an absolute panic. The judge had arrived that morning in a complete drunken stupor and they had had to call the police to get him to leave. The police had arrived and arrested him for public intoxication/disturbing the peace and ran a background check to find that he was listed as a pedophile... a child pornographer. My mom questioned me thoroughly and looked absolutely horrified when I told her about the pictures and how he'd acted weird. By the end of the day, the camera he had used had been taken, the film showed pictures of me and one other girl about my age. He was sent back to his home state and removed from the Guild's judges list. It all turned out just fine, I was safe. We never saw or heard from him again.

But my mom later told me that that was the day she realized she couldn't protect me. She was right outside the doors while I sat alone in a sanctuary with a pedophile. I've always known that my parents have prayed over me more than I'll ever be able to grasp, but that day they took it up another notch. It was the only thing they could do.

On Monday, that made all the sense in the world to me. We've been praying for Cooper since the moment we started thinking about having a baby. We pray over him daily, multiple times a day, pretty much every time I feel his little kick.

But on Monday, I took it up another notch. On Monday, I realized that there was no way in the world I could keep all the bad things away from him. On Monday, I realized the only thing Brandon and I could do to truly protect him was pray, pray and pray some more. On Monday, I went from tears of sadness and fear to tears of gratefulness... gratefulness that I have a God that is bigger than the baddest bad guy in the whole wide world.

On Monday, I realized that my faith was bigger than my fear. And the song my mom taught me as a child brought me such great comfort on that drive home... "He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands. He's got the whole world in His hands."

Be Blessed.

1 comment:

  1. When something tragic like the Boston bombing happens miles and miles away, it's amazing how it stirs our hearts and hits so close to home.
    I have loved keeping up with the baby bump updates, and I'm so glad Recipe Monday is back (and I'll look forward to quesadillas). But you're right, perspective changes when we think about the lives that were changed from one bad person. Praise Jesus that God IS bigger and is in control of all things.