The cold crept up though the granite boulder I sat on. It seeped through my well-padded backside and settled into my spine. Cold, clumsy, fat and scared is how I felt. The sun had barely risen and held no warmth, except a promised one. I pulled my hoodie tighter around my growing stomach and turned the pages of my bible in search of comfort.
What I found was about as comfortable as the granite I sat on.
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Not, what I was looking for. I was pregnant, hormonal and afraid. I was looking for peace. DUH. Instead of peace- the doctors phone call haunted me:
“Your tests came back with soft indicators for Down Syndrome, you need to make an appointment with the genetic counselor.” In that instant, I’d lost peace. Instead of wondering about my baby’s gender, I was now afraid my child would die. I was afraid my child would struggle. I was afraid he’d be rejected. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I wondered where God was.
I wanted my excitement back. I wanted my peace back.
Instead, I opened the page to see God tell a man to kill his son. I kept reading. I saw a man lay his beloved child on a cold rock and lift a knife to kill him. Fear and anger welled up in me.
I hated Abraham.
“That altar is cold! Is he nuts? Where Is Sarah? I’d kill him if he was my husband. THAT’S HIS BABY! Would he really do it? What an idiot.” (Umm I maybe actually think like this, am I the only one?)
I slammed my bible and walked back to the camper. If this was the comfort God was offering- I didn’t want it.
I let the door slam as I entered. I wanted everyone to be awake with me in my misery.
It didn’t work. They snored on.
Trying to shove down the anxiety I felt, I started to clean. I grabbed a shopping bag to put it away and out fell a blue, silk edged Winnie the Pooh blanket, I’d bought for the baby. Tears filled my eyes.
I imagined myself holding my baby in the blanket, I imagined the blanket never holding a baby. I imagined the blanket draped over a tiny coffin, and I imagined it wrapped around a tiny Down Syndrome baby.
I wondered if Sarah had a blanket for Isaac. I wondered how Abraham had overcome his fatherly instinct to comfort and care for his son, to lay him on a cold stone altar.
“Maybe he didn’t.” Was the response. (It was either God or my imagination, but I heard it.)
“The Bible LIED?” I asked. Kind of hoping it had.
“Maybe Abraham didn’t lay him on a stone altar, maybe he lay him on my lap. Maybe you should lay your child there too.”
I was pretty sure Abraham wasn’t the only crazy one. He had a new neighbor in crazy-ville: ME.
I let the words sink in. Not an altar, a lap. A fathers lap. I wasn’t convinced.
“In your lap? I can’t. I have to take care of him.” I replied. (Once you’ve gone to crazy-ville you may as well stay a while. )
“I will. I already AM.” Was the reply.
“I can’t let go.” I answered.
“Neither can I.” Was the reply that brought me back form Crazy-ville.
The truth is I could let go, if I really tried, and if I really trusted.
That day didn’t end my fear. But, it did become a place to return to, like the rock on the beach I’d sat on,while searching for comfort. Only instead of coldness creeping up my spine, it brought warmth. It brought peace, and yes, comfort.
On a lap, not an altar.
God hadn’t promised everything would be alright. Instead, he met me where I was, and gave ME a warm lap to crawl into, a place where I could lay down my little one. Not a cold stone altar, but the lap of a loving father.
He didn’t change my circumstances, but he did change my perspective.
I don’t know what you’re feeling today, maybe you’re afraid, maybe you are angry, maybe you have read that same story and wanted to put the beat down on Abraham, like I did. I’m praying that God will meet you where you’re at, and show you what you need to see, whether (like me) you like it or not.
Dear Lord- I pray that you’d constantly remind me to trust you.. that you’d constantly remind me you are not a cold hard, judging God but a loving father, into who’s lap I can climb and find peace. I love you Lord and pray that you will meet each one that comes here, right where they are. Amen