Think. Serve. Worship. Belong.

Soothing New Life

by Beth Fultz

It took a week to prepare our home for Kayli and our eldest daughter, Emily, to visit from Massachusetts. Kayli, our soon to be officially adopted granddaughter, grandkid #4, is 8 months old, with a few health issues including being partially blind, and dependency on a feeding tube. I wanted the house to be immaculate, mopped and scrubbed so that our usual out of whack home would not be a hindrance to her health and enjoyment for the five day stay. Once they arrived however, the house was re-arranged back to clutter in about just less than one hour when they unpacked and the cousins inspected the baby paraphernalia. All that work destroyed upon arrival.

At night, Kayli woke per the schedule she follows with her mom starting at 5 a.m. EST. Well in CST, 4 a.m. is the starting point and the wailing began as she was ready to be changed, fed, play on the floor, bounced and be snuggled. Children’s cries are a specialty of mine; I immediately wake and go into action to solve the tears and attempt to smother one with kisses and song and a lot of love. Kayli, the first few nights preferred Aunt Felicia, but by the end of the trip, I had come to her mom’s aid in the pre-dawn hours and soothed and sang all the SSPC Day School songs to her, kissed and received smiles and snuggles in return that no one could see in the dark. But I knew, we were connecting without sight, and creating light with love.

My love for my children and their offspring is the tiniest of amount of love in comparison to God’s infinitum of love. Our Lord God led the way by creating this incredible emotion that ties all of creation with our families and then between many of the species and us to the earth. I wonder, with all that love, how God handled his son’s death on the cross and internment in the tomb? Did God cry? Did God caress and sooth his son in the darkness? Did God’s tears awaken Jesus from the dead? How did Jesus’ New Life begin? Was it a touch? Was it audible? How did Jesus spring to life after three days without it? Did he cry like Kayli in the night? Did God rush to sooth and embrace him and hold him until he all was well with his soul?

Glimpses of the Kingdom of God surround us daily, if we were just to recognize them all. Caring for Kayli and her cousins, Kennedi, DJ and Payten is a potent experience of emotions exchanged in the name of love. Our interactions have been delightful, full of tears, filled with memories until our next meeting this summer. Here at St. Stephen, we’ve been trying to get the messages of New Life to our church and day school community with the caterpillar display and the Easter egg hunts and our many worship services to share the good news of Jesus’ life and ministry and his resurrection defeating death. I hope some of our illustrations illuminated your soul.

Now, I must prepare for the rest of the Easter services, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Morning. In the meantime, I’ll help pack and sooth, one more night a little foster child that soon will be ours. May she realize that love reached out to her for a lifetime of community in the Fultz / Bredberg families as it did with her Aunt Felicia years ago.

After everyone is back on the plane and Easter Services are over, I will need another week to recover from the experiences with a vacuum, a mop bucket, dust rag, and sanitizer. So worth it all!

Well, much of the house will still be occupied with three grandchildren, Easter Baskets, two dogs, one single mom, and two worn grandparents, and a lot of disarray. I must accept that life is  messy.

Happy New Life to You.