Zoe was born with an irreversible defect. The defect retards your growth, hampers and sometimes prevents your breathing. Affects your sight and hearing. Beckons infections. If you have Trisomy 18 you are helpless, weak. You're going to die.
Did you know that Trisomy 18 babies all look very similar? Dark hair, recessive chin. If it weren't for Zoe's eyes, you'd think - you'd wonder if she was related.
I didn't want to love her at first, didn't want to fall for the big blue eyes or the frail body calling for a father's arms. But, it's 364 days later, and I'm up and down most nights with my wife trying to figure out a way to console her and feed her and get her to sleep.
If anyone were to ask me why I'm doing what I do, I can't think of any other excuse for scraping myself around most mornings than I'm her dad. And this is what parents do. We give of ourselves...maybe even weaken ourselves to strengthen our kids. We nip at their heels, threaten, howl, try to get them to do what they need to do, what is right - knowing that a good 50% of the time, we're not heard, or we're resented, if obeyed. We pray, pray in tears for our children. We defend them fiercely. We love them beyond any logic.
We set up our hearts to get broke.
So if anyone were to ask God why He loves me, I know that's his answer.
Greg? Greg was born with a fatal flaw. He is weak, he is helpless. He doesn't do what he should and he rarely does what I ask him. He tests me. He questions me, doubts me, ignores me.
Greg doesn't act like me. He doesn't even look like me most of the time, except for every once in a while.
And if anyone were to ask God why He loves me like He does, He'd answer: This is who I AM. I'm a Dad. I love him.
And it's not Greg's love - wrapped in guilt, accompanied by mumbling, muttering and the occasional angry word.
I give of myself. I made myself humble so that He could live. I nip at his heels, threaten, howl, try to get him to do what he needs to do, what is right - knowing that a good 50% of the time, he's not listening, or he resents me, if obeying me at all. I am crazy about my children. I defend them fiercely. I love them beyond any logic.
And that's Zoe's lesson for you. NO matter how far away you feel, you're only one step, one breath away. NO matter how unprotected and unsheltered you feel, you are guarded in the hand of your Dad, who can't stop loving you. He can't help it.
He can't help it.