Instagram you know yesterday was a tough day. And like most tough days, I seek out meaning in the hard things. God has taught me a lot in the last two years about asking him questions that are hard. Questions they didn't teach you to ask when you were growing up going to Sunday school. Questions that most Christians avoid because they are afraid of the answers...or worse yet, no answer.
On my drive home from the hospital yesterday, I kept replaying the scene in my head over and over. The sound of the hustle and bustle of doctors and nurses and moms going in and out of rooms. Machines beeping. The smell of bleach, as the cleaning lady had just finished mopping the floor. A faint smell of coffee that one of the moms was drinking. In my head, I was avoiding looking in his crib. To feel the weight of that pain all over again. To remember the heaviness in my stomach as I listened to the neurosurgeon talk us through his complications. There were times during the conversation I tuned him out - I couldn't help but let my mind wander to the worst. And as I held my little Baby A I asked myself the hard question: "Why am I even here?"
It may surprise you that the question rolled around in my head; believe me, it surprised me too. But as I looked at this precious baby sleeping in my arms I knew it was a question I have struggled with since I met him two months ago.
You see, I have no obligation to be there with him. From a ministry standpoint, it doesn't even totally make sense. Children's Services has already told us we can't take him home. We aren't registered as a "disabled baby orphanage." I am also not a nurse. I have no training in caring for a child born with hydrocephaly. Plus, it's an hour of driving to only be able to be with him for two hours. Believe me, I've used these arguments with myself when I struggled to not want to go to the hospital.
But there is always this pull. A thought in the back of my mind. If I don't go see him, who will? If I don't go hold him, who will? If I don't change his diaper and change his sheets and feed him, who will? If I don't pray over him, who will? If I don't show him with my actions and my words that he is worth it, who will?
It changes everything...those two words. Worth it. Is it worth it? Is he worth it? Is he worth the sacrifice of time? Is he worth the emotional turmoil I feel when I hold him and when I have to leave him? Is he worth sleepless nights trying to figure out how to get him home? Because ultimately, all of these things we face everyday, all of the opposition, all of the tough situations, all of the painful circumstances that involve people we love and people we don't even know, all come down to one thing: Are they worth it?
I first learned about worthiness from my parents when they found out my Mom was pregnant with my sister, Abbey. After a simple prenatal test, it was discovered that Abbey would be born with Down Syndrome. That day the doctor asked my mom when she wanted to schedule the termination of pregnancy. My mom politely told her that because of her belief in God and her belief that Abbey is not a mistake she would be continuing with her pregnancy. For the first five years of Abbey's life, my mom practically had to hold her every night, propped up against the wall, so that Abbey could breathe to sleep. She had many bouts with respiratory illness and we almost lost her an several occasions. Countless hours in physical therapy, occupational therapy and doctors appointments. We received ridicule from many people, our friends would call her a retard and kids made fun of her at school. But for those that took the time, even though sometimes it was hard and often uncomfortable for them to get to know our Abbey, they showed her, and us, that they understood she was worth it. That even though she was different than them, had to do things differently, saw things differently - it made her even more worth it, not less.
So as I asked myself the hard question sitting in a public hospital holding a sick baby that wasn't even mine, Jesus responded to my question with his own..."Is he worth it?" Because ultimately, this question that Jesus is asking all of us is about much more than a sick baby in a hospital. This is just as much about a drug addict, a Muslim, a struggling single mom, a refugee from Syria, a homosexual, a Trump supporter or a Sanders supporter, an autistic boy, a family on welfare, an illegal immigrant, an abortion doctor, a soldier or a missionary in a foreign country. The thing that connects all of these types of people is that they are worth it. They are worthy of your friendship. They are worthy of you knowing their story. They are worthy of a seat at your dinner table. They are worthy of the sacrifice of your time to be with them. They are worthy of a fair chance to be educated. They are worthy of love, care and affection. They are worthy to be told they are worthy, that they are worth it.
Somehow, as Believers, we have mixed up Jesus' message. None of this is about us. It's not about our schedule or our routine or our career or our ten-year plan. It's about showing this hurting world that they are worthy to be loved and that they are treasured by a Savior who died for them before they were even born.
It took a sick little baby to show me exactly what Jesus has been trying to show me my entire life. I am complicated and obsessive compulsive and selfish and irrational and sinful; but I am worth it. And so is Baby A. And so are you.
Let's stop telling people whom we may not understand, "You aren't worth it." And lets start doing the uncomfortable and the seemingly impossible to show them that they are.