Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Everyone knows someone who has had a miscarriage. If you don't, then now you do. Statistics say that almost 20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Twenty percent. Usually when an event is so common, it lessons the intensity of your own personal experience. Not so with this experience. I've known people who have had miscarriages. My reaction is to be sad for them. To try and hurt for them. But because it's so common, it's hard to understand the depth of what's really going on. Now I understand the pain.

It happened Sunday. Deep down Kari knew it was happening. She expressed her anxiety. While I listened, I doubted it. I knew it of course was a possibility, but I didn't actually think it would happen to us. Monday morning she went in for a checkup. And the little beating heart that we saw on an ultrasound last week just wasn't there.

I will remember that phone call for the rest of my life.

I was installing some doors in a house downtown. I knew she was at the doctor...just waiting for the call saying that it was just a scare...that everything is all right. It happened with Mason. We had a scare near the beginning of that pregnancy, but the doctor's visit brought good news. Not this time.

Kari's voice broke. "It's not good..........................The baby's gone" I walked across an alleyway to a park and sat down on a picnic table. Stunned. As vivid as those words are in my head, I don't remember the rest of the conversation. I was absolutely stunned. I hadn't cried in a while, but at this point there's simply nothing else to do. What do you say? So I went home and cried with my wife.

The interesting thing is the kind of loss that this is. I won't pretend to think that my experience was the same as Kari's. The attachment of a mother to her child from the moment of conception is amazing to me. The fact that she knew what was going on before a doctor could look inside is absolutely astounding. And so in a big way her loss is different from mine. I saw the beating heart, and I know that it's my flesh and blood, but my attachment is more to a dream. A hope. A concept of what that little life is going to become. The baby was only 8 weeks old. And yet there's still the pain. It's Wednesday now. I'm recovering. And yet I expect the pain of the loss of my child will linger for a long time.

But it's in this place where I feel God the most. I'm an emotional person. I get depressed at many small insignificant things. And yet I can honestly tell you that I'm not depressed right now. It's here where God is loud. It's here where it is so clearly evident that he is pouring gallons of his grace into my little teaspoon-sized soul. Pain without depression is an interesting experience. Believe it or not I would actually call it an amazing experience. Not because I like the pain, but because pain mixed with God's peace produces hope. And purpose.

I'm not familiar with the context of CS Lewis' famous quote "Pain is God's megaphone," but I can tell you that I now understand it. And it's not that I think that God gives pain in order to pierce our deafness to him. I think it's related to Joseph's amazing words in Genesis 50:20, "You meant it for evil...but God meant it for good." God uses the pain that exists in this fallen world because it allows us to experience his goodness in the midst of it. And God is good. This is a truth I've known in my head since I was a boy. It's finally starting to move to my heart. To know that God is good is fine. But to know God's goodness changes everything. Theology without experience is almost pointless. But now that my religion is becoming my reality.....I'm finally touching God's personality and not just looking at his character.

I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone. In fact, even after all I've just said I'd still like the pain to go away. But if pain really is God's megaphone, then I choose to let go of the fear of loss. For if loss causes me to know my Savior better, then the risk is worth it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

can't get enough of these songs lately

Miss Murder, AFI
Sweet and Low, Augustana
I Get It, Chevelle
The Blower's Daughter, Damien Rice
From Underneath, Hawk Nelson
Lead Me To The Cross, Hillsong United
Sleeping To Dream, Jason Mraz
A Beautiful Mess, Jason Mraz
Dizzy, Jimmy Eat World
We Make The Road By Walking, The Juliana Theory
From Where You Are, Lifehouse
Go On My Child, Michelle Featherstone
Happy?, Mudvayne
Far Away, Nickelback
Reckoner, Radiohead
Last Flowers, Radiohead
Mary Song (acoustic version), Tyler Ward

Thursday, May 15, 2008

7 year itch

So Kari and I are just about to hit our 7-year anniversary (next month). What is all this that I'm hearing about the 7 year itch? I must've gotten lucky.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


The thought of treasure reminds me of a pirate who finds that chest full of gold coins. He spends all of his energy and life looking for that treasure because when he finds it he is set for the rest of his life. The emotion he experiences when he finds that massive treasure must be amazing. But gold coins vanish.

I have a list of memories that I cherish. Some of those cherishable memories are so high that I call them treasures. But the great thing about these treasures is that they don't vanish.

As I grow older I find that the treasure list is growing exponentially. I'm the kind of person who doesn't seek out a lot of friendships. I'd rather spend my time growing as close as I can to the few friendships that I've already established. Because it's here where I find my treasures: in unexpected wonderful moments with people I am passionately in love with.

At the top of the treasure list is moments with my wife and my son. Tonight we got home late from a mother's day thing at my in-laws and put Mason down to bed immediately, as it was an hour past his bed time. But he wasn't tired.

We were tired. It's an hour past our bedtime, on a Sunday night. We both have to get up early to go to work tomorrow. "Mason, please go to sleep." Mason wasn't tired. So we let him cry.

An hour later we finally have some sympathy. We're good at the tough love thing, but sometimes the kid just needs some sympathy. This was one of those times.

So I go into his room, crawl into his bed, and am just present with him. He talks, I listen. Story of my life, but this is different. He strokes my hair, snuggles my forehead, and breathes right in my face while he blabs on and on. Finally he starts to get tired, lessens the chatter and starts to close his eyes. I've learned by now that it's better to leave the room while he's awake so that he knows I'm leaving, rather than have him wake up with me gone and freak out. So I whisper to him, "Daddy's going bye bye now. I'm going to sleep in Daddy's bed."

Mase opens his eyes a bit, strokes my hair one last time. "Okay Daddy. I love you so much."

And there it is. Instant treasure. The moment you experience it you know that it will take a long long time to forget....having your own flesh and blood 2 year old son say those words to you.

I love this part of life.