Emily and I feel like we are on a little wooden paddle boat flowing towards a pounding waterfall. We have known about this pounding waterfall for many months and we chose to paddle in this direction because our little baby girl is waiting for us at the bottom of the falls. We have paddled and paddled the last few months through crashing waters and rigid rocks. But amidst the chaos there have been moments where the waters have quieted and the air cooled and we have layed in the boat looking into the blue sky. In these moments, we dream about our little girl and our little family. We dream about the memories we will make and we dream about the way she will make our little wooden paddle boat so much better.
We are fully aware that our boat will not survive the fall and that we might not make it either. But we know that as we fall we will see our little girl. We will see her face to face and she will know that we love her – to us this is worth it all. Even though the outcome is bleak, we still dream and we still imagine life with our little girl on our little wooden paddle boat.
Right now, we are anxious, frozen, sad and joyful all in one emotion. We can not wait to see our little girl, but at the same time we know that the waterfall is going to break us and break our boat. In this current moment the waters are calm and the night is dark and the air is cool. The stars are out and everything seems so good and rich. But we can hear the rushing waters coming. We have seen the signs that say, “Turn back waterfall ahead!” We know that the waters will soon pick up and the pounding will soon begin. It is eerie to sit in this moment in our little wooden paddle boat and experience the goodness of future life but at the same time know the impending doom of death. There are no words that we have left to say and we are just waiting and the clock is ticking and the time is drawing closer and closer. But we are not afraid.
In our little wooden paddle boat on this voyage towards the waterfall we have heard the sound of fellow boaters. This sound is sweet to our ears like chocolate slowly melting in the mouth. People are on this voyage with us. People are paddling alongside us. As our boat has taken hits, dings and capsized we have had people throw us liferings and buckets. People have jumped in our boat and helped us heal its broken hull and people have jumped in our boat and have helped us bail water out of our sinking ship. People have spoken out in the foggy nights to remind us that they are there and that we are not alone. People have paddled for us when we have been too weak and too exhausted to keep on going. We have been overwhelmingly loved by these beautiful people.
Emily and I are thankful for God’s people. People who are made in his image and people who are not afraid of the pounding waterfalls in life. So many of you have come alongside our bruised and battered little wooden boat. So many of you have chosen to go with us on this dark and dangerous journey to meet little Blakely and it is because of this that we are not afraid. We are not afraid of the waterfall because we know that you all will help us as we fall. We are not afraid of our little wooden boat breaking in the crash because we know that you all will let us ride in your boats. We are not afraid of meeting little Blakely face to face because you all will be there to wipe our tears, to hold our hands and to feel our pain. This is the beauty of God, revealed to us in this excruciating moment. It is in this moment where we feel stretched out to our limits that God has showed us his beauty in his people – in his church.
It has been through the prayers, the letters, the emails, the gifts, the donations, the parties, the talks and the constant presence of God’s people that we have seen God. The church has shown us his glory and has shown us his love. The church has stepped into our messy lives and has provided for our needs. The church has given itself up for my little family and because of this we approach the waterfall with hope. Hope that we will not be alone in our pain. Hope that we will be loved and cared for and hope that God will keep his promise to make all things whole again.
Oh church thank you for being near and thank you for showing us God.