Unconditional Finds Its Way Through a Child

Ps 78:5-7  “…That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God….” (NKJV)

I was there when you were born eleven years ago. Your Grandpa and I paced the hospital halls until your daddy came with the widest grin on his face to tell us you were here. I wish you could have seen how proud they were, and with what joy they announced your arrival.

God purposes generations that through them He might be made known. Psalms 78 is Asaph’s contemplation of God’s kindness to a rebellious Israel, of His graciousness in spite of their propensity to forget and stray.

Those Israelites of whom the Psalm was written had the Law, impossible to keep, ponderous yet rich in love and promise. Today we have all that to pass on including the glorious fulfillment of the Law in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The responsibility is heavy yet oh so light because it offers hope and salvation.

I have the verses from Psalm 78 written next to the names of my thirteen grandchildren in my journal…”That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born…”  I pray for each one, that the layers of our history, generations to come will proclaim His glory. Today is the birthday of Grandchild #7. Her birthday has pulled back pages of unforeseen history and reflection.

Like a train, your mom learned the two-kid ropes quickly. You and your big sister were the light of her eyes and the sparkle of her day.

And then you turned six months and everything changed within hours. In a matter of days your mommy went from hauling you around in a big heavy carseat to not being able to carry you at all. The illness nearly killed your mommy, but losing ability to care for her two babies seemed even more unbearable.

Like puzzle pieces, the things your mommy did, fell away, lost in a soup of a body gone rogue. On an altar of sacrifice, she yielded you to others. Wonderful friends and family members cared for you. They carried you and placed you in the crook of mommy’s arm. And your mommy watched. It was like you knew that you needed to reach and touch because she couldn’t, and your little hands stretched to her face. You poked, and explored. You caressed and patted. You napped on a cold hospital bed, warm and serene in our chaos.

In the months that followed, you grew. Your mother’s eyes longed toward you. Time evaporated. Losing a mommy, losing a daughter mixed. When the mass on your mommy’s brainstem allowed thoughts to surface like the ebb and flow of tide, you and your big sister were always there. When foggy medications lifted, her heart went straight to you two. You learned to crawl on the inert warmth of her white sheeted body. Though her arms didn’t move, she held you in the sadness of her eyes.

How she wanted to swing you into her embrace, to tickle your tummy, and kiss your cheeks. Your daddy filled in gaps of painful loss. He wiped the tears of sorrow, and changed your diapers, he hugged you tight and made you laugh. And dear Granddaughter, you thrived in a Netherland of childhood because a Gracious Father knew exactly what He was doing. He never forgot you, He always saw.

You made us laugh when all we could do was cry. You brought light into blackness. You spoke baby language that went straight to the heart of God. You were loved before birth, treasured throughout a valley of death, and held in a Loving Palm.

“That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born…”

“How can I be a mother, when I can’t care for them?” There was anguish and fear from our mommy-daughter so still in the bed.

But we dumped you there each day. You climbed over the hills and valleys of her body. You loved and accepted everything about your mother, just the way she was. You pulled her tubes, stuck your finger into the hole in her neck, and laid your head on her chest.

And then one day, when the clouds began to clear on a dim and fearful future, you sat next to your mother, on the throne of her bed.

I had just finished wiping away tears of “How can I be a mother,” and “Does she even know me?”

Your little body scooted close to her motionless one, and your forehead bowed down low against her stomach. You slipped your hand under hers filled with needles and tubes, and lifted its inert heaviness to your head. With your hand underneath hers, you stroked her hand against your own head, guiding the love, binding your hearts.

And no one breathed.

“She knows,” we whispered into a room silent with electric emotion.

“She knows you’re her mother, Charity.”

“That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born…”

You have taught me so much dear Granddaughter about the Unconditional Love of Jesus.

“That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God….”

Happy Birthday.


8 Replies

  1. Cathy Morgan Reply

    Oh my. Thank you so much for this beautiful, heartbreaking view into your sacred, holy of holy experience. Blessed be the Name of the LORD.

  2. Beth Menezes Reply

    Sylvia, I am stunned at the beauty in the valley of the shadow of death, that you have found to share with your grandaughter – and us. Thank you so much.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Beth.

  3. Rebecca Thesman Reply

    Multiple Kleenex. And what an amazing testimony of the enduring grace of God.

  4. Teresa K Parker Reply

    I hope this will one day be a book. There is so much here in this story and of course the story is not finished yet. But it is so beautiful just the way it is. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Marilyn Krehbiel Reply

    Oh How Precious the LORD JESUS is!!! I have and continue to prayer that through all these days God will and is honored!! I see my prayers being answered!! I just know there are many things that these priceless granddaughters of yours know and experience come only through these days!! What eternal hope and expectation we have in HIM, our Lord and Savior!! May your upcoming holiday season be overflowing with lasting joy and deep peace!!

  6. Carolyn Siebert Reply

    charity you are doing and it looks like you’re doing great keep up the good work the Lord Has Done marvelous with you