Lamby transitioned back to the Haven when she was well again, but she never stopped being my every Sunday morning church date. No matter which church I am in on Sunday mornings, she's with me. For over a year of Sundays now I've rocked that baby in church, fed her, taken her out as she became increasingly vocal and mobile, and cherished those sacred mornings of togetherness. Of course I still see her every day at the Haven, but our Sundays have always been special to me.
The baby who lived with me before Lamb was Mercy, and during the days she lived with me, I started noticing how often her name came up in songs. It always made me smile as I rocked my Mercy in church and heard her name being used in worship, and even now after she's been gone a long time, I don't sing that name without thinking of that sweet girl.
But you know what name seems to be in even more songs than Mercy? Lamb. It seems every single song we sing in church here, in English or in Tonga, contains her name. I'll never forget early on in her time with me, when we still prayed daily for a miracle that would give her life, holding her in church on a Sunday night and singing the words "dear dying lamb" from the old hymn "There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood". It stopped me mid song, brought tears to my eyes, as I pleaded again in prayer for God to spare her life and not take her from us. I did not want my Lamb to die.
This morning, fifty-five Sundays later, I sat rocking that same sweet baby girl, my Lamby, saved by God's mercy and power. She's gotten harder and harder to keep in church, louder and busier and more distracting to those around us, so this morning of still and sleep was a sweet gift to me. I sat and marveled at her, at every perfect thing about her, at the rise and fall of her little chest and her scrunched nose and her nails that need cut and her soft, curly hair. A year ago I didn't think she'd make it, and I definitely didn't think I could love her anymore than I already did. But today as I sat staring at her, I realized how much more depth and history and relationship there is to us now. It's not that I love her more than I did then , but I definitely love her deeper with every day I get with her.
Our thoughts were turned to John 3:16 by Ba Rodwell as we took communion, and I thought about God giving us his only son, his Lamb. I've always thought of my Lamby when I read verses and sing songs about the Lamb of God, but this morning, watching her sleep perfectly, innocently, vulnerably in my arms, I cried thinking of my little Lamb being hurt in anyway, of anyone being mean to her or rejecting her. I can't even stomach the thought. My thoughts go to a year ago, pleading with God to not take my Lamb from me, to save her instead.
I've known about God's sacrifice of his only son as long as I've been alive. But I've never had a Lamb before. So I'd never thought as much about that sacrifice as I did today, in the context of my Lamby and his Lamb.
God, who didn't just love his Lamb for a year, but has loved him for all of eternity.
God, who sent his Lamb for all of us to have life.
God, who watched his Lamb be tortured and rejected and humiliated.
It blows my mind that He who holds all power broke his own heart, not backing down when it became too painful to stomach, but sacrificed anyway, sure of the victory to come.
Lamby is at the stage where she won't leave me without a fight. If you take her from me, you'll feel the brunt of it. She kicks and screams (and sometimes claws) at whoever tries to separate her from the one she loves the most (if I do say so myself :)). So the willingness of Jesus, the Lamb of God, to come, to leave the one he loves the most, strikes me again, too. How loved we are, by both the Father and the Lamb!
Maybe this outs me for not paying attention too closely in church this morning, but in reality, it was the closest communion I've shared with Him in awhile.