Two weeks ago, we were gearing up for a big family reunion in DC to celebrate my grandfather’s 85th birthday. It was the first time in a long time that nearly all of the 37.5 family members were together and we were excited to be with everyone. A black tie gala was slated to culminate the momentous milestone and just before that, a family picture.
Our little family of four was ready–Little B and Baby sister were in their fanciest outfits, B had a new tux jacket and shirt, and I had a dress altered to fit the lovely “I’m-not-pregnant-anymore-but-my-old-clothes-still-don’t-fit” stage that comes after having baby. My mom even treated all the girls to blow outs for the big fete.
Miraculously, we survived the family picture without any stains, scratches, or tears, which is pretty much a miracle when you have a two-year-old; especially when they are serving dumplings and meatballs.
Five minutes before the main event, we were in the hotel room getting the babysitters situated, when all of a sudden my sister came to me and said, “Elizabeth, Bear is bleeding…”
Not one to panic, I assumed it was a little cut and sent B to their room to deal with it. When he saw the cut on Bear’s head and all of the surrounding blood, B looked at my brother and said, “Game over.” He ran into our room, ripped off his tux and said we had to go to the hospital right away.
The party was over before it had even begun.
I grabbed my precious two-year-old who was covered in tears and blood, we raced through the hotel lobby, hopped in a cab, and rushed to the E.R. at George Washington University Hospital–a place I would NOT recommend frequenting on a Saturday night when you’re visiting the District of Columbia.
Thankfully, when you have a two-year-old emergency that involves blood, they rush you into a private room right away where we proceeded to sit for hours.
To my son’s credit, once the bleeding was under control, Bear began to enjoy all the attention. He quickly developed a crush on his nurse, Izzy, and he played “basketball” with the doctor–the “ball” was actually a blown up surgical glove and the “hoop” consisted of one creative and resourceful daddy holding his arms out in a circle.
Then, after three hours of waiting, it was time for the stitches.
I don’t know if anyone has ever had to hold a child while they were getting stitches, but I do NOT recommend it. To-date, it’s been the hardest thing I’ve had to endure as a mother.
I felt helpless, holding him in my arms, while he screamed and cried out in pain and fear.
I knew the end result was for his benefit, but I SO desperately wanted it to end. No parent ever wants to see their child suffer.
Thankfully, my very brave boy made it through and within seconds was back to his old self, serenading the nurses and doctors with his “Easter Show Songs” from school which include “Awesome God” and “Celebrate Jesus.” Yes, even in traumatic times, my little boy is both a showman and an evangelist.
I woke up the next morning and walked through the events from the previous night. I thought about how painful and emotionally draining it had been to hold my child in my arms while the Dr. stitched him up. And then it hit me: here I was, torn up over three little stitches, when there was One who had to watch His Son endure much, much worse…
What must God have been thinking while He watched His son endure excruciating pain and torture resulting in His death on the cross? I can’t even begin to imagine.
But God gave us his Son because THAT is how much He loves each one of us.
In that moment, the enormity of God’s sacrifice fell on me in a fresh and new way.
God gave us His Son, but He didn’t just give Him to us, He gave us His Son and allowed Him to be crucified and die on the cross…because He. Loves. Us.
I can’t even process this kind of sacrificial love, but it’s real and it’s for all of us, right here, right now.
This Easter weekend, may the unfathomable, sacrificial love of our Heavenly Father fall upon all of us in fresh and reviving ways.
We. Are. Loved.
God. Gave. Us. His. Only. Son.
It. Is. Finished.
“For God so loved the world,i that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”