For those of you who care (that would probably be his grandparents, his doctor uncles and aunt, and his father), Gabriel is a little above average in height, about average in weight, and right on track with motor and verbal skills. He is also off the charts in sweetness. :)
Gabriel was due for no fewer than five different immunization shots in a row today, and it was rough. More so on me.
My heart had physical stabs of pain during the 40 or so seconds that it took to finish the round of shots.
And somehow, in the middle of those 40 seconds, my mind escaped into a brief theological meditation on suffering. For a very, very brief moment, I caught a little glimpse of what it must be like to be God.
I knew those shots were necessary to protect my little boy's health, and I knew that, in this instance, it was ultimately better to have him go through the pain of having all them at one time, rather than draw them out into five visits. It was so awful for me to see how confused and surprised he was that his beloved "Ma-Ma" was not immediately picking him up and saving him from the pain of the shots. In fact, I had to help hold him still.
I thought about how, just like my experience with Gabriel today, God never wants me to get hurt. In fact, He has a good plan and a good purpose for all of the suffering in my life, now and in the future. And He would love to scoop me up in His arms and save me from every pain, but in His infinite wisdom, plan and timing, sometimes pain is necessary.
There's so much more to say, I know.
I'm not trying to package up the Secret to Suffering in Life into a few trite sentences. I can't claim any experience in my life that comes close to the suffering I'm watching several close friends and family members going through right now!
God just gave me a tiny insight into His side of the story of my life, and it gave me peace.
In a week when I'm suffering such a little bit in comparison to and in parallel with the life-changing, deep suffering of my friend Lucy on the loss of her husband, my soul is reaching for answers in Christ.
And he chose to bless me with some simple insights during a common doctor's checkup with my son. Another example of motherhood as a school of life, at least for me.