Pregnant. Expecting.

by DanWolgemuth on September 25, 2020

Those were the terms we used in the early summer of 1980 to inform our families that a baby was on the way. Our first.

By August, 1980, my entire family was in Birmingham, England for the retirement celebration of my Dad from Youth For Christ. A once in a lifetime gathering to reflect, commend, and commission.

But on night one, everything shifted. While we were standing in a buffet line, Mary looked at me with horror and fear in her eyes like I had never seen before. “Something’s wrong… I’m bleeding.” Her whisper was a megaphone in my soul.

We raced up to our room in the hotel and I called for help. I’m not sure who I called, but somebody at the hotel had a connection to a local OB/Gyn and that’s who was notified.

I sat. Silent. Paralyzed. Unprepared.

Mary laid in the bed beside me. Waiting. Praying. Hoping. Crying.

A few minutes into the immobilizing panic, there was a knock at our door. Sharon was there. My sister-in-law. Ken’s wife.

I quietly opened the door, and in a blink, Sharon moved past me and straight to Mary’s side. She reached down and hugged her. She held her. She cried. Mary cried. I watched.

Sharon prayed and cried out to God. Never letting go. Never backing away. Her presence brought hope and healing and comfort… without a diagnosis. Without a medical solution.

Sharon never tapped her brakes. She never asked permission. She just entered the pain. She became a part of the pain. Our tears, our pain, our uncertainty flowed down Sharon’s cheeks.

When some retreat, love enters. When some recoil, love engages. When some reflect, love is present, in a blink, for the long haul.

Our communities are bleeding. Our neighborhoods are paralyzed. Our cities erupt. And The Church… the living, loving Body of Christ must push past the gatekeeper at the door and move toward the chaos, not away. The Church… the Bride of Christ must bend down, with compassion and humility. Like Jesus did. When everyone else retreats, we, those who claim the name of Jesus, must fill the void. With love. Unconstrained. Uninvited. Underappreciated love. When others pick sides, we choose the narrow way of Christ… toward the least of these. Toward the brokenness.

Toward the hungry.
Toward the thirsty.
Toward the stranger.
Toward the naked.
Toward the sick.
Toward the prisoner…

Toward Him.

The solutions are complex and difficult… but love… God’s everlasting and eternal and transformative love needs no referendum, or testing, or ballot box. It pushes past. It presses in. It holds and weeps and embraces. Before the doctor arrives. Before the diagnosis is uttered.

But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:31)

Paul called it, “a still more excellent way”. The way of love.

To the side of the bed. Into the middle of the uncertainty. With unselfish, unconstrained love. Sharon kind of love. Jesus kind of love.

Are you paralyzed? Are you stuck? Are you uncertain? Are you afraid? Are you confused? Are you angry? Are your frustrated?

Move toward the pain… in whatever way you can. Uninvited, but on mission.
Hope and healing, without a diagnosis.

The way of love. The way of the Cross. The way of Jesus.

P.S. On March 14, 1981, Andrew Donald Wolgemuth was born. We know that every tear stained story doesn’t have an ending like ours… but we thank God for the lessons He taught us during that season of uncertainty. The lessons of unfettered and trustworthy love.

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