Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I am the servant of the Lord.

Sunday afternoon, Kevin and I picked up the stroller and baby toys from my mom’s house that wouldn’t fit in the car after the baby shower and headed to the mall.  We were excited that we’d finally get to see Purity again and meet Nathan (whose name means “gift from God).  Mom and baby are the two we’ve been praying for since God was knitting him in his mother’s womb.  A friend of a friend asked if he could give Purity my contact information last Spring.  Of course, I said yes. 
This took place during the Spring 40 Days for Life campaign at which time my mom prayed that each woman facing an unexpected pregnancy would have another woman to walk alongside her.  In some ways, I’ve been given the opportunity to be one of the women who’s walked alongside Purity.
Nathan’s absolutely precious!  He’s not even two months old yet.  There are few things better than holding a little baby, but cradling a tiny baby boy at Christmastime is positively priceless! 
Purity, her friend Kandie, her boyfriend, and another friend’s 3-year-old son Liam came to Richmond for a visit.  We gathered at the food court to share a meal and visit for a while. 
John jogged over from his apartment (literally), and his mom Cathy drove over to join us for a bit. Both of them took turns holding Nathan.   
I held the little snugglebug for a while, then I took Liam over to play in the children’s area which was crawling with kids.  He had a blast running laps, jumping up on things, sliding, dropping, and rolling.
I marveled at how Purity and her friends who are also from Kenya really are family to one another.  (She has no biological family in this country.)  Their friend Rahab had to work the night before and that day, so they’d brought her son Liam with them.  I remarked to Kevin later how they were living out the idea that it takes a village to raise a child.

Kevin and I went to 5:30pm Mass at St. Michael the Archangel, and got to take part in the homily Fr. Dan Brady gave.  He used a phrase from the Gospel as a refrain in his sermon which he asked us to chime in with at different times.  It was a good exercise to practice saying and really meaning, “I am the servant of the Lord.” 
Both Mary and her elderly cousin Elizabeth did this when they were faced with unplanned pregnancies.  They didn’t argue that the timing wasn’t right or opt out of doing God’s will because of what the situation might look like to outsiders.  They accepted their role as tabernacles of the Most High, and by their actions and words proclaimed, “I am the servant of the Lord.”
When I was holding Vivi at Mass, helping to keep her cousin Lauren occupied, and smiling at Katelyn down the row, Kevin whispered to me, “welcome to the village,” reminding me that he and I are both a part of children’s lives, open to loving them as if they were our own. 

Later that night, James, who first connected Purity and me, had the gang over to their place for dinner.  I stopped by later on to bring some gifts for Nathan and hang out for a while.  Almost the entire time I was there, Nathan was on his back fast asleep.  He looked so cute wearing his little sweatsuit and matching mittens.

Liam was still bouncing off the walls, getting into anything he could.  We took turns attempting to channel his abundance of energy into indoor appropriate use of toys while we visited some more, talked about possible plans for the future, and figured out the riddles James was keen to share with us. 
     Lord, thank You for calling each of us to be Your servants.  Please help us to abandon ourselves to Your will as Jesus Christ, Mary, and Elizabeth and so many others across the ages.  Amen.
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