“When the things that shouldn't be, are...that's called grace.”

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7

My Dear Baby,

It is Easter 2004 and the things that shouldn't be, are. It has been exactly one month since you and I “should have” died. Our doctor simply shook his head and urged us to thank the Lord, because he can't explain how we both survived. But we know that with our God, the things that shouldn't be, are. In the first hours of the whirlwind of survival, you became a child of God. There were strict orders to use only a wet finger, no tangible amount of water. And yet, with this brush of moisture, you were swept from the swirling seas of death. And the things that shouldn't be, are.

You were placed in the care of a bold atheist, a lesbian who rejects the true God and prefers the gods of her Eastern religion. They put an IV into your forehead, a feeding tube in your nose, and a picc line through your whole body to your heart. You cry because you don't understand it all, and I cry because I do. The King of Heaven has chosen to entrust the life of my son to people who despise him. People, who in their care for you are unwittingly providing a service to your Father, whom they hate. People, who through you are getting one last chance to witness the goodness of the Lord. People in the exact same place we were before we were called to this saving faith we treasure. Praise God for the gift of faith—the things that shouldn't be, are.

I spend my days and into the nights with you—talking to your doctors and nurses, gently teaching you how to eat, holding you against me to regulate your body temperature, learning how to stimulate you to breathe again when you stop, and getting much more practice at it than I would like. I whisper in your sleeping ear that Jesus loves you. I tell you that death can't hurt you because Jesus died for you. I remind you that your sins are paid for by someone who didn't deserve to pay—that the things that shouldn't be, are.

You wake up and cry and your cry sounds like the bleating of a lamb. I sing to you that you ARE a lamb and that your Shepherd gently guides you. I sing to you that the things that shouldn't be, are.

This is why I pull my aching, half-healed body out of bed in the dark of the early Easter morning. I pack a cooler of the milk I had saved for you overnight, drive along a desolate freeway to the downtown hospital, stumble through the creepy parking garage, rest my head on the humming elevator wall, whisper a greeting to the sleepy NICU coordinator, scrub my hands for the required three minutes, nod a “hello” to the keyboard-clicking nurse, and sink into the chair next to your isolette. All this so I can see your face as the sun rises on your first Easter. I sing to you that we have a Savior, that he is alive, and that he holds all life in his hands...and your heart burns within you. The machines toss out random beeps around us and the nurses brush past to check if the leads are “correlating” and push the reset button. And there I sit with my baby in the middle of the clinical stats, the bustle of constant physical care, and the lingering, ever-present possibility of death—and we possess abundant life. The things that shouldn't be, are.

It is April 11, 2004 and this is the happiest moment I have had in the last month—not because your “stats” are up or because your iron level is holding steady. Not because you remembered to breathe almost all night and when you forgot, your heart kept beating. Not even because you took almost all of your half ounce of milk by mouth. No, we are swaddled in peace and joy this quiet morning because the things that shouldn't be, are.

I love you forever, Mommy

Whom do you know who is teetering on the brink of death this Easter? Whose life could change when they hear that the things that shouldn't be, are? How many people whom you don't know are being touched with this incomprehensible truth by missionaries around the world? Your missionaries and their families thank you for your support of God's amazing message of salvation. Your love and prayers for us are more things that shouldn't be, but are.