Monday, May 27, 2013

A different kind of Memorial Day celebration

For we Americans, Memorial Day means a lot of things. To those who have lost loved ones to war it is a time of sorrow. For all of us, it is a day we remember those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom we enjoy in this country. But this day is also an opportunity to get together with friends and family, and celebrate the beginning of the summer season. That is how we planned to spend Memorial Day, but things don't always go according to plan.

For the past couple days Ian has not been feeling well. The symptoms seemed consistent with the flu or some other "stomach bug". It seemed that he was on the mend, until last night at 3:00 am, when he was doubled over in excruciating pain. We got him to the emergency room, and the tests indicated that he had appendicitis. So, in the ambulance he went, to the nearest children's hospital for an appendectomy!

Rather than spending this morning catching candy at the Memorial Day parade, Ian is lying in an operating room undergoing surgery. This is certainly not the way we envisioned this day!

On one hand, this is a terrible way to spend a holiday. On the other hand, it is an opportunity to celebrate the life of our child. If Ian did not live in the United States, and had been born instead on the streets of a third world nation, or in a village in the jungle, who knows how bad his condition would have become—or if he would have even survived. Rather than celebrating his life, we could have been mourning Ian's death.

When I think this through, it is hard not to consider the implications of moving my family to another country. No matter where we end up, it is almost certain that we will not have immediate access to the caliber of medical care that we have in the States. But what about the people all around the world who are living and dying without hope and without Christ? Shall I ignore Jesus' Great Commission, and opt instead for the perceived safety and security of my suburban life?

I am so grateful for the life of my son, and will do whatever I can to preserve it. But I am also thankful for God's Son, who did not preserve his own life but willingly laid it down (then took it up again!) that we may have true life through Him. And we are humbled and grateful that we may be the expression of Christ to others, here in Ohio and to the ends of the earth!

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