“…redeeming the time for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16)” reveals to us something exclusive throughout time and space- the ability of time to be redeemed. Money cannot be redeemed. Power, popularity or prestige often blows away like dust in the wind. However, there is great hope found in knowing that time can be redeemed.
It is at this juncture that my heart swells with much hope. I have grieved Naomi’s past. I have grieved over considering the moment she was abandoned as a 2-week old, in need of immediate surgery for a life-threatening condition. I have grieved to consider her first year of life, saturated with three surgeries, and hospitalization days totaling close to three months.
Today, when I heard her scream with the type of scream only a grieving child can give as she saw her nanny caregiver from the orphanage leave, I grieved again. Her grief was intense. In many respects, it was her second abandonment. All she has ever known, touched, smelled and held was taken from her in a brief moment. We look different, talk different, and despite our lollipop we brought, along with toys and other snacks, nothing would console the grief of her heart. So, in those moments, I cried right along with her, knowing that I too have a High Priest who is familiar with all of our grief and sorrow. I had an awareness that Patrick and I were for her, in those intense moments grief, an Incarnational presence, as our Emmanuel loved her through us.
After she cried herself into exhaustion and sleep, I watched those long, black eyelashes close as her head rested and slept against the heart of her new father. Redeeming the time. Time is being redeemed in a tangible way. For every moment she cried as a baby, and no one was available to console her, time is now being redeemed. Undoubtedly, in the days and weeks ahead when she makes requests, and they are answered, time is being redeemed.
And for me as a new mother, time is also being redeemed on this “Gotcha Day” because I have a more intimate awareness of my awesome God breaking into reality. Reality may be dirty. Reality may have a tear-stained past. Reality may include a disregard for sacred life. Reality may lack compassion. But Christ has proven to me once again, that He is the ultimate reality that breaks into whatever may be obvious. With the same voice that spoke the stars into existent, Who Himself was present before the foundation of the world, He speaks a redemptive note into any reality that may exist, and He calls the common, holy. He took a common, dirty manger and graced it with the Most High. Today, He took part of my heart and spoke belonging. And, at the same time I looked at my daughter for the first time and spoke with my eyes and heart to her- belonging. God has and will continue to redeem the time.